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UN names Chengdu 'Role Model for Resilient Development'

05-30-2011 17:00 BJT

Chengdu became the first Chinese city to be named "Role Model for Resilient Development" by the United Nations.

The award was presented on May 11, 2011, during the 3rd UN Conference Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction at the Geneva International Conference Center in Switzerland. The lobby of the conference center displayed dramatic pictures of the disaster relief and post-disaster reconstruction work of Chengdu following the deadly 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

Words and pictures captured the incredible challenge of a region where 1 million people were left homeless by an earthquake that caused an estimated economic loss of 124.7 billion yuan. Chengdu immediately began responding, leading rescue and renovation work involving 14 million people.

During the three years spent coordinating urban and rural renovation and new development work, the city experienced no crop failures, epidemics or social unrest. In fact, Chengdu won praise for its planned "three-year reconstruction completed within two years." Indeed, Chengdu turned crisis into new opportunities, exceeding efforts to restore the city's economy by embarking on an ambitious plan to grow the economy in new directions and build a modern garden city that would attract new business and tourism. After three years, Chengdu's status among 15 capital cities in China was not lowered, but raised.

The more than 3,000 representatives at the May meeting in Geneva hailed Chengdu as a model of "persistence and calm."

In 2010, the total output value in Chengdu reached 555.13 billion yuan, a 15 percent year-on-year increase. The city was ranked No 5 among the top 15 capital cities. Local public finance budgets reached 52.69 billion yuan, a 36 percent increase. Chengdu in 2010 also ranked No 1 among cities in midwestern and western areas in terms of actual use of foreign capital and total export/import volumes.

The number of Fortune 500 companies establishing operations in Chengdu now totals 189, including Volkswagen, Texas Instrument, Dell, Lenovo, Foxxconn, Compal and Wistron. In 2010, as disclosed by the famous financial magazines Forbes in the U.S., Chengdu ranked first among the fastest-growing cities in the world for the next decade.

Chengdu officials told their story to a UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) meeting during arranged a Forum for Mayors and Councilors session.

Chengdu showed an indomitable spirit and achieved outstanding results, the UNISDR session was told.

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