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Economy

Chinese cities' GDP swell by 2035 but can't beat NY, Tokyo, London

Report forecasts Shanghai and Beijing will come 5th and 6th in ranking

Shanghai's Pudong financial district   © Reuters

TOKYO -- China's four economic centers, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Tianjin, will be among the world's 10 largest cities in terms of gross domestic product by 2035, but they will still trail New York, Tokyo and London, according to the latest forecast by Oxford Economics.

The U.K. research company with links to Oxford University examined how 780 large cities in the world -- which account for 35% of the world population and 59% of global GDP in 2016 -- will change in terms of economic growth by 2035. The aggregate GDP of the 780 cities is expected to increase at an average of 2.9% annually.

"Many of today's emerging market cities, particularly in Asia, will continue to progress along the development path and the balance of urban economic power will shift further east," the report summarized.

China is likely to be the growth center over the period. Shanghai will climb five positions to 5th, topping Paris, while Beijing will go up nine places to 6th in 2035. Guangzhou and Tianjin will also jump to 8th and 10th position from 22nd and 27th in 2016, respectively.

As a result, the aggregate GDP of Chinese cities will more than double to over $25 trillion, according to the report, and this means that they alone will represent around one third of global urban GDP by 2035.

A total of 33 cities in China ranked in the top 100 list for 2035, up 15 from 18 cities in the 2016 list. These include Shenzhen at 11th, Chongqing at 13th and Suzhou at 18th.

Despite the rapid growth of Chinese cities, New York and Tokyo are expected to keep the global No.1 and No.2 positions. Los Angeles will drop one position to No.4, whereas London will go up one place to No.3.

Indian cities will see a much bigger jump: Mumbai will climb 86 positions to 48th, Delhi will rise 73 places to 56th, and Bangalore will move up 131 positions to 66th, from 2016 to 2035.

As for other megalopolises in Asia, Jakarta ranks 21st, up 22 places from 2016, and Manila moves up from 95th in 2016 to 49th in 2035. Kuala Lumpur also goes up 27 places to 76th.

On the other hand, some developed cities are expected to fall in ranking by 2035. Japan's Osaka-Kyoto region ranked 17th, down 10 places, Singapore 27th, down four places, Hong Kong 28th, down eight positions, and Seoul 32nd, down 11 places.

The Oxford Economics' report pointed out that growing cities would face challenges in ensuring infrastructure -- such as adequate housing, support services and transport networks -- can accommodate more people.

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