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Beijing beats Paris, London to top list of cities with economic clout

BEIJING -- Beijing wields more economic influence than other large cities, even more than Paris, London and New York, suggests a report.

Even so, the Chinese capital still lags behind comparable cities when gauged by its innovation, infrastructure and business conditions, according to the report published on Thursday by the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers International Ltd. (PwC).

In terms of economic clout, Beijing moved to the top this year from the ninth position in last year's ranking, said the report, which is entitled Cities of Opportunity.

The capital's impressive performance results from the large number of headquarters of Fortune Global 500 companies it contains, the number of people who are employed in financial and business services there, the rate of foreign investment in the city and its GDP growth.

At the same time, the city performed poorly — coming in second to last in the ranking — in terms of its productivity.

"It has nowhere to go but up given that China has been focused on increasing productivity for many years," the report said.

"Besides ranking first in economic clout, Beijing also ranked high when gauged by the ease of travel between its airport and city center and the number of international conferences it plays host to, making its transformation into a 'world city,'" said David Wu, PwC China public policy and regulatory affairs leader and PwC China Beijing office lead partner.

Ji Zhu, director of the Beijing Technology and Business University's world economy research center, said Beijing, when compared with other Chinese cities, offers residents better administration and quality of life.

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