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China International Cities Index for Second Tier Cities

Global China

Boasting a nominal GDP exceeding US$ 9 trillion, China is the world’s second largest economy and is a core member of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) group of emerging major economies. The fledgling free market economy is opening up to the world at an unprecedented rate; a transition reflected in progressively more international business practice as China’s borders become increasingly porous to multinational operations. China’s investment environment is fast adapting to attract foreign investment, incorporating extensive policy, financial and legal reforms.

The Second Tier

Cities in the first tier are highly international, with both Beijing and Shanghai carrying designations as top-twenty global cities. In recent decades, however, the country has witnessed the rise of a second tier of emerging market cities that are playing an important role in the country’s economic growth, and are gaining an increasingly prominent position on the global stage. Over 150 cities in China accommodate in excess of one million inhabitants, and this figure is expected to increase exponentially in the next five years. With such huge growth and potential, companies are now looking to the enticing opportunities proffered by the second tier, where they can maintain a competitive stance in a dynamic, international and liveable business environment.


Higher levels of city internationalization hold greater appeal for foreign companies due to increased market potential, accessibility, liveability and growth prospects. Whilst internationalization is variously defined and characterized, in this report it is expressed through six core themes deemed to be pertinent indicators of internationalism. These six themes, which are elaborated on in the methodology at the end of this report, are Global Economic Strength, International Commerce, Social Capital, Infrastructural Connectivity, Government and Political Engagement and Culture and Tourism.

The CICI report

In order to quantify the level of internationalization of second tier cities in China, Maxxelli Consulting has generated the China International Cities Index (CICI). The CICI offers a holistic analysis of the level of internationalization of second tier cities in China, in order to ascertain a valuable city-by-city ranking of internalization.

As the report is an extensive analysis concerning the CICI, the focus of each one that we do in these series lie on six cities. In this first report, the cities Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Xi’an, Wuhan and Changsha are mentioned. If there is a particular city whose ranking you are interested in seeing, that has not yet been included here or if you are interested in the more detailed information of the six cities posted here, please do not hesitate to contact us via .

To read the full report please click the picture below.

CICI picture

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