SINGAPORE 23 June 2011 - The Fourth Edition of Cities of Opportunity released by PwC has revealed Singapore as Asia’s leading city. Finishing in 9th place among 26 countries surveyed, results shows Singapore to be doing extremely well especially in key areas – ease of doing business, economic clout, technology readiness and health, safety and security.
"Singapore remains a leading business hub in Asia," notes Mr. Gautam Banerjee, Executive Chairman of PwC Singapore. All the cities that have done well in the ranking have well-established centers of economic energy and intellectual vitality. Remarking on Singapore’s standing, alongside leading cities like New York, London, Sydney and Hong Kong, Gautam says, “The business environment in Singapore is really open and very vibrant, and that is what makes Singapore very attractive. The results show that universally, we accept that Singapore is one of easiest places to do business in. All the stakeholders; government, corporate, unions, workforce, civil society, collaborate to ensure that Singapore remains a very competitive economy and that we always punch way above our weight as a small city state."
Gautam, commenting what being a successful city could mean to Singapore, says, “What the growth of the cities tells us is that we have to continuously innovate and reinvent ourselves and we have to ask ourselves what do we want our city to be like in ten, twenty or thirty years’ time. Will we still be relevant as a city? Will it be attractive to businesses and commerce, to families, to our young, or even to artists and writers? Because a city is invariably about the people living in it, we need to cultivate energy, build resilience and encourage forward thinkers to create opportunities that will nourish our city.”
FINDINGS ON SINGAPORE
Singapore ranks within the top ten places for ease of doing business, economic clout, technology readiness and health, safety and security.
Ease of doing business
In terms of ease of doing business, Singapore ranks 2nd, just behind the leading nation, Hong Kong, among other top cities such as New York, London and Toronto, which are 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively. Singapore’s strength of ranking in this area stemmed fundamentally from the relatively flexible labour laws, as well as the ease of entry to the country, starting a business, hiring and its favourable operational risk climate.
The economic clout ranking is dominated by the usual suspects – London, Paris and New York. Singapore follows behind Hong Kong and Madrid, at 6th position. Some reasons Singapore did not do as well as Hong Kong in this area include fewer Global 500 headquarters, weaker domestic market capitalization of its stock exchange and lower inflation. However, Singapore fares excellently in financial and business services employment, strength of currency, number of green field projects and capital investment, topping the other cities in terms of level of shareholder protection.
Singapore also ranks 6th in technology readiness, which measures the hardware, software and bandwidth required for intellectual and economic progress. This ranking could be improved by ensuring better performance in broadband quality.
Health, safety and security
Singapore ranks 8th in health, safety and security, tying for first with Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong for the lowest crime rate among the 26 cities and ranking 2nd, just behind Tokyo, for health system performance, an indicator which compares life expectancy to the cost of healthcare per person. In terms of number of hospitals, end of life care and stability of its political environment, Singapore sits comfortably in the middle..
ABOUT THE STUDY
Cities of Opportunity and the key indicators
The fourth edition of Cities of Opportunity shows that in a more virtual and mobile world, holistic cities with balanced economies and strong quality of life offer an attractive alternative: resilience during downturns and allure for skilled people who will build the future.
New York leads the 2011 study, which analyzes and ranks how 26 global centers of finance, business and culture perform across 10 key indicators. But it is followed closely in the top five tier by Toronto, San Francisco, Stockholm and Sydney – cities more notable for quality of life and balance than global business dominance. Singapore ranking 9th is Asia’s leading city, followed by Hong Kong’s ranking at 10th.
Like Singapore and Hong Kong, results show that smaller cities like Toronto, San Francisco, Stockholm and Sydney are doing well too. "Changes in communications, education and knowledge-sharing, transportation and urban migration are transforming world dynamics," said Bob Moritz, US Chairman and Senior Partner of PwC. "Cities that want to thrive, need to adapt to these changes. Size is no longer a leading predictor of influence. The success of cities such as Toronto, San Francisco, Stockholm and Sydney sends a clear signal that holistic balance makes a real difference."
The Cities of Opportunity key indicators and top three cities in each are:
Cities of Opportunity is based on publicly available data, using three main sources: (1) global multilateral development organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund; (2) national statistics organizations, such as National Statistics in the UK and the Census Bureau in the US; and (3) commercial data providers. The data was collected during the second and third quarters of 2010. In the majority of cases, the data used refers to the years of 2009 and 2010. In some cases when verifiable and consistent city information were not available, national data was used as a proxy. Care has been taken to ensure that, where used, national data closely reflects the city. The scoring methodology was developed to ensure transparency and simplicity for readers, as well as comparability across cities.
The complete report, interactive tools that allow users to model their own comparisons among the 26 cities and 66 variables, and videos and podcasts featuring Rem Koolhaas and Mortimer Zuckerman are available at: www.pwc.com/cities.
About the Partnership for New York City
The Partnership for New York City’s (www.pfnyc.org) mission is to engage the business community in efforts to advance the economy of New York City and maintain the city’s position as the center of world commerce, finance and innovation. Through the New York City Investment Fund, the Partnership contributes directly to projects that create jobs, improve economically distressed communities and stimulate new business creation. Partnership companies account for nearly 7 million American jobs and contribute over $740 billion to the national GDP.