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Bangkok ranked in top 10 emerging cities

Nov 12. 2015
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By The Nation

Bangkok is ranked ninth among the top 10 emerging world cities in leading indicators, and sixth for human capital and innovation, according to new research from real-estate consultancy Jones LangLasalle (JLL).

It is also ranked by the company as one of the manufacturing leaders among emerging world cities.

Shanghai is ranked the top emerging world city, followed by Beijing and Dubai, the research found.

JLL added that Asia-Pacific’s three established world cities – Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong – risked being outshone by emerging cities in the region over the next decade.

Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong make up half of the "Big Six" established world cities and, along with London, New York and Paris, attract world-class corporations, talent and more than one-fifth of global real-estate investment.

However, the report, "Globalisation and Competition: The New World of Cities", reveals that a number of cities in Asia-Pacific could challenge their dominance.

Sydney and Seoul are identified as the most likely to break into this elite group. Meanwhile, Shanghai and Beijing are considered "nearly emerged", with Shanghai already one of the world’s top 10 financial hubs.

Rosemary Feenan, director of Global Research Programmes at JLL, said that in order for the Big Six to maintain their dominance, they will need to execute bold and ambitious urban-transformation projects to accommodate growth and stay globally competitive.

"Our research shows that a new world order of cities is evolving, with several emerging cities ready to break from the pack. In Asia in particular, there are strong challenges to the old order from agile higher-value emerging cities like Bangalore, Shenzhen and Guangzhou," she said.

Singapore and Hong Kong remain the most business-friendly cities in the world, along with having strong education, innovation and infrastructure credentials.

Tokyo, meanwhile, is the world’s third-biggest real-estate investment market and has recently seen a record-breaking number of tourist arrivals, thanks to visa deregulation and the weaker yen.

However, in the new era of city competition, the rigid hierarchy is breaking down as more cities than ever "go global", she explained.

The increasingly globalised urban world is changing the geography of commercial real estate and is offering new opportunities and niches for cities outside the old order, says the report.

Chris Fossick, managing director for Singapore and Southeast Asia at JLL, said that over the last few years, emerging Southeast Asian cities had made significant progress and increased their presence in the global scene.

Jakarta and Manila’s domestic market size and strong economic growth have caught the attention of global investors.

Kuala Lumpur has and will continue to strengthen its position as a major city in the fast-growing Southeast Asian region, and will be further enhanced with the eventual opening of the High Speed Rail connecting to Singapore, he said.

Singapore’s transparent and business-friendly environment, and it becoming an information-led economy, should cement its position as an innovation hub, he added.

Taipei, for example, is identified as an emerging world city, a growing financial centre with strong infrastructure and excellent governance.

Kuala Lumpur is also considered a competitive megacity, acting as a gateway to the regional markets in Southeast Asia, with its strategic location and dynamic labour market.

Jakarta and Manila are among the emerging cities making the fastest progress across key indicators, currently seen as "high potential, but weakly governed".

These cities, along with Mumbai, are attracting investment and outsourcing activities, although they face a number of challenges relating to infrastructure, governance and quality of life, said Fossick.

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