Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province, is a key city located on Mainland China’s southeast coast, approximately 170 kilometres from Shanghai. With a subtropical monsoon climate, the city covers a metropolitan area of 16,600 square kilometres and has a population of 10.36 million. In 2019, the GDP of the the metropolitan area was RMB1,537.3bn, and the per capita GDP reached US$22,102.
Hangzhou has been designated a National Innovation Demonstration Area. Recognized as one of the top ten innovative eco-cities in Mainland China, the city’s R&D expenditures account for three per cent of the regional GDP. Furthermore, the city leads the nation’s information industry, and its competitiveness in cultural and creative industries has been ranked third. Hangzhou hosts the headquarters of world-famous companies such as Alibaba, Wanxiang, Wahaha and Hikvision. It is also the hometown of successful entrepreneurs such as Jack Ma, Lu Guanqiu, and Zong Qinghou. Mainland China’s first comprehensive pilot zone for cross-border e-commerce was established in Hangzhou and it brings together more than one-third of Mainland China’s e-commerce companies as it serves as an important hub for Mainland China’s “Online Silk Road”. In surveys on Mainland Chinese cities, the World Bank has consistently recognised Hangzhou as a “golden city” for its overall investment climate.
The co-ordination of urban and rural development is a priority in Hangzhou, where 31 specialty towns have been promoted as models of development. The West Lake Scenic Area has been open to the public since 2002 and Hangzhou Public Bicycle is one of the largest bike-sharing programmes in the world. The city is committed to being a pleasant place for everyone to live and work, which is evidenced in the life expectancy of our residents that has soared to a new high of 80 years in 2015. Hangzhou has thus been named Mainland China’s happiest and safest city. The spirit of Hangzhou is exquisite and harmonious, big-hearted and open-minded. The city is a reservoir of Chinese culture that upholds a global perspective.
Hangzhou is one of the ancient capitals of Mainland China. Archaeological evidence has shown that the city was home to the Kuahuqiao culture 8,000 years ago and the Liangzhu culture 5,000 years ago. In addition, the city served as the capital of the Wuyue Kingdom (907-978) during the Five Dynasties period and the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279).
Hangzhou boasts two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: West Lake and the Grand Canal. The West Lake embodies the very essence of classical Eastern aesthetics, while the Hangzhou section of the Grand Canal has existed for over 2,500 years. This well-preserved section of the canal has remained a bustling transportation artery to this day.
Hangzhou is home to 53 museums, including the China National Silk Museum, the China National Tea Museum, the Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Museum of Chinese Seal Engraving Art and the Southern Song Imperial Kiln Museum. Thirty-eight structures in the city, such as Lingyin Temple, have been designated nationally protected sites of historical and cultural significance. Three practices from Hangzhou are included on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The city is also host to famous institutions of higher learning, such as Zhejiang University and the China Academy of Art.
Around 1,200 years ago, the renowned poet Bai Juyi (772-846) served as the mayor of Hangzhou. After leaving his post, he summarised his nostalgia for the city in a short verse: “Of all my memories from lands south of the Yangtze River, those of Hangzhou are my fondest”. More than 700 years ago, the Italian merchant and adventurer Marco Polo praised the city as “the noble capital, which surpasses in grandeur and wealth every other city in the world.”
A proponent of sustainable urban development, Hangzhou has made protecting the natural environment a priority. Forests cover 65 per cent of the city, where built-up urban areas enjoy 15.1 square metres of green space per capita. Hangzhou has been inscribed on the United Nations Habitat Scroll of Honor and declared an International Garden City (Nations In Bloom). It has also been designated a national forest city and a national model city for environmental protection.
Hangzhou is home to the world-famous Qiantang River tidal bore and serves as the setting for “Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains”, a masterpiece by the Yuan Dynasty painter Huang Gongwang (1269-1354). Mount Tianmu is a national nature reserve, Qiandao Lake contains more islands than any other lake in the world and the Xixi Wetland is the largest of its kind in Mainland China.
In the city proper, there are 27 historical areas that celebrate traditional Chinese culture, including Qinghefang, Southern Song Imperial Street and the west bank of Gongchen Bridge. The China National Tourism Administration has recognised Hangzhou as the “top tourist city in Mainland China”, the World Leisure Organization has acknowledged it as the “leisure capital of the East”, and The New York Times has included Hangzhou on its annual list of “52 Places to Go”. In 2019, the city welcomed 208 million visitors from other parts of Mainland China and overseas.
China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Hangzhou Committee (CCPIT Hangzhou) is an economic and trade promotion institution under the municipal government. Following the tenet of working for businesses and catering to the entire society, it is an important establishment for the opening up of Hangzhou. The Hangzhou Chamber of International Commerce is a social group corporation registered at the civil affairs administration, managed by CCPIT Hangzhou, and it is made up of related institutions and businesses dealing in international trade, economic and technology exchange, investment co-operation and convention and exhibition. It uses a membership system and works for member companies. The Hangzhou Chamber of International Commerce has more than 5,300 member corporations.
CCPIT Hangzhou / Hangzhou Chamber of International Commerce carries out activities promoting the trade co-operation, foreign investment utilisation, international business operation and economic co-operation between Hangzhou and the world. It promotes understanding and friendship between Hangzhou and people from other countries as well as economic and trade areas around the world.
The council / the chamber maintains friendly relations with nearly 300 international organisations, trade promotion institutions and economic and trade groups around the world and has signed long-term partnership agreements with more than 80 overseas peers. It organises enterprises from Hangzhou to attend more than 60 international expositions around the world every year. Additionally, it issues over 200,000 various certifications for foreign trade and export companies per year and has founded branches in 13 districts and counties (cities) in Hangzhou Municipality.
The China (Hangzhou) International Leisure Industry Exposition is organised by CCPIT Hangzhou. It provides a comprehensive and professional business platform for local and overseas leisure and recreation companies. Besides promoting the local leisure and recreation industry, the event also helps the development of Hangzhou into a world-class city.