São Paulo, Incheon and Mumbai are Cities Tipped for Surge in Competitiveness

The cities of São Paulo, Incheon and Mumbai are likely to enjoy the greatest surge in global competitiveness over the period 2012 and 2025, according to a report carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on behalf of Citi.

The report, entitled ‘Hot Spots 2025: Benchmarking the Future Competitiveness of Cities’, is released to coincide with the New Cities Summit in São Paulo and forecasts the competitiveness of 120 cities in 2025 based on their projected ability to attract capital, business, talent and tourists.

According to the report, the 10 most competitive cities in the world in 2025 are forecast to be:

  1. New York
  2. London
  3. Singapore
  4. Hong Kong
  5. Tokyo
  6. Sydney
  7. Paris
  8. Stockholm
  9. Chicago
  10. Toronto

“Major cities in India, Brazil and other emerging markets are expected to improve their competitive position and gain ground on many cities in more established economies,” said Leo Abruzzese, the EIU’s global forecasting director.

“Strong economic growth, improved physical infrastructure and increasingly skilled labour forces will boost emerging cities’ competitiveness, though North American and Western European cities will ultimately retain their competitive advantage.”

Brazil’s commercial and financial capital, São Paulo (which ranks 36th), is the most improved city in the Index. Its expected surge in competitiveness can be attributed to the city’s young and rapidly growing workforce, solid telecommunications infrastructure, well-established democratic institutions and financial maturity.

Incheon (43rd), South Korea’s third largest city, is the second biggest mover. Investments in a world class port, transportation infrastructure and the development of the Incheon Free Economic Zone have all resulted in the city becoming a commercial, business, logistics and tourism hub for all of northeast Asia, with more progress to come. Incheon’s rise in the overall rankings demonstrates the institutional, social and economic progress that many cities in emerging Asia have made in the last few decades. It also signals the growing competitiveness of emerging market cities that will be seen by 2025 and beyond.

India’s financial capital, Mumbai (51st), comes in third in terms of improved competitiveness, driven by its sheer economic strength, improved financial maturity, and cultural vibrancy.


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