With a population of over 30 million, Chongqing has been the fastest growing city in China for ten consecutive quarters and is one of China’s four direct-controlled municipalities—Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin are the other three.
The “Mountain City” is not only the economic center of Western China, it has emerged as a logistics hub for the Belt and Road Initiative that links up Western China and its neighbors in South East Asia.
The Expo was the latest of many collaborative efforts between Singapore and Chongqing, the two have been actively working together in recent years on multiple fronts such as transportation, business, logistics, and technology.
Many Chinese tech powerhouses, including Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent (known collectively as the BAT), have also been making big moves into the lucrative markets in Southeast Asia which have a population of 650 million.
The Chongqing Connectivity Initiative (CCI), a joint initiative between China and Singapore launched in 2015, plays a key role in boosting regional connectivity.
A case in point is the Southern Transport Corridor, a rail-sea network that connects Chongqing and the Qinzhou Port in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, giving the western Chinese city direct access to the sea.