Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Seven of the World’s Top 20 Global Cities

According to a biannual ranking, East Asia has a high number of global cities while ASEAN and South Asia lag behind.

The Asia-Pacific region has a number of the world’s most global cities. The highest rated Asia-Pacific city was Tokyo, ranked fourth, followed by Hong Kong at fifth and Beijing and Singapore at eighth and ninth respectively. Seoul (12), Sydney (14), Shanghai (18) were also highly rated, giving the Asia-Pacific region seven of the spots in the top 20. By comparison, North America had five cities in the top 20 but four in the top ten: New York (1), Los Angeles (6), Chicago (7), and Washington D.C. (10). Of the remaining top 20 cities, seven were in Europe (including Moscow), and Buenos Aires was South America’s sole representative. The above information is according to A.T. Kearney’s 2014 Global Cities Index.

The Global Cities Index (GCI) measures cities for global engagement, according five different areas: business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural exchange, and political engagement. Many were especially strong on business activity, but scored relatively lower on human capital for the top Asia-Pacific cities. GCI claered that human capital rankings are based in part by the size of the foreign-born population, meaning that cities with large immigrant populations would tend to score better on this particular metric.

Among the top 20 cities, Beijing’s from 14th is now on the 8th, it was the major change from last year. Beijing’s development was credited to bigger figures of Fortune 500 companies, a boost in international schools, and increase in broadband subscribers and museums. Meaning, Beijing enhanced its ranking according on better marks for each of the GCI’s categories not including the political engagement, that Beijing previously scored quite high in owing to its status as China’s capital. In the meantime, in an article on the GCI, China Daily, pointed out that Beijing continue to rank below Hong Kong due to the latter’s “more international and educated group of citizens and [Hong Kong’s] better ability to facilitate quick and free information exchange.”

Particularly, much of the Asia-Pacific’s achievement in the rankings is because of the beeter performances by East Asian cities. A.T. Kearney, in its analysis of the data, especially noted that “Singapore, at ninth place in the GCI, is clearly in a league of its own among cities in Southeast Asia.” Besides Singapore, the highest ranked city in Southeast Asia was Bangkok at number 42. Other ASEAN cities on the ranking failed to even crack the top 50, with Jakarta (51), Kuala Lumpur (53), Manila (63), Ho Chi Minh City (70) all coming lower on the list.

The highest ranked South Asian city was Mumbai at number 41. India was also represented on the GCI by New Delhi (57), Chennai, (72), and Kolkata (79). Pakistan had two cities on the list, Karachi (76) and Lahore (82) and Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka came in at number 75.
While Southeast and South Asia had an unfortunate showing on the GCI, they did outstandingly better on the accompanying “Emerging Cities Outlook” (ECO). The ECO  rates the most likely cities to turn into more global in the future basing on how fast cities in low- and middle-income countries have been improving their rankings. Jakarta and Manila topped this list at first and second, respectively, with New Delhi (5), Mumbai (8), and Kuala Lumpur (10) also making the top ten. India was especially well-represented on the ECO—in addition to New Delhi and Mumbai, the cities of Bangalore (11), Kolkata (14), and Chennai (17) also made the top 20.

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