Business / Economy

Beijing's opportunity ranking 19th in world

By Cai Xiao (China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-09 07:56

Beijing ranked 19th in the world's top cities in terms of opportunities, standing out for economic clout, but facing the challenge of high costs, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers on Thursday. While London ranked first, Hong Kong and Shanghai placed 9th and 21st respectively.

The PwC report on the cities of opportunity provided balanced benchmarking of the social and economic health of 30 of the world's leading cities by measuring the cities' performance against 10 indicators, including intellectual capital and innovation, quality of life, transportation and infrastructure, health, economic clout and cost.

It showed that Beijing ranked 19th in the overall ranking, even though it ranked third in indicators of its role as a "gateway" and economic clout and also made significant improvement in indicators of intellectual capital, innovation and technology readiness.

"Beijing remained among the three global leaders in economic clout, highlighting its economic prowess," said Jin Jun, PwC China strategy consulting partner.

However, there was no improvement for Beijing in the cost indicator, in which it remained 30th.

The report showed that despite the cost of living being relatively low in Beijing, cost of business occupancy, corporate tax rate, purchasing power and affordability of rent, left room for improvement.

"But the middle class of Beijing is increasing fast, which will improve the high cost conditions of the city," said Jin.

In addition, Beijing ranked in the last 10 places for health, safety and security, sustainability and natural environment, and ease of doing business, indicating areas that would benefit from even more improvement.

Jin said Beijing has problems of air pollution and water resources, but they are improving through Beijing's tremendous efforts.

Shanghai ranked 21st overall, achieving seventh position in the gateway and economic clout indicators, but it faces challenges in terms of cost and ease of doing business.

Hong Kong was placed 9th due to its strong showing in terms of indicators of ease of doing business, city gateway and technology readiness. As with Beijing and Shanghai, Hong Kong did see relatively lower rankings in indicators related to quality of life, dampening the overall ranking.

David Wu, PwC China public policy and regulatory affairs leader, said that people are the fundamental drivers of urban development. Business and economic prosperity are no longer the standards for measuring the success or failure of urban development.

"Coordinated economic and social development, practically meeting the needs of residents and providing a good quality of life, have become the direction of future development for cities of the world, including those in China," said Wu.

In the overall rankings this year, London again took the top position, having continued to build across its balanced array of strengths. Singapore followed in second place, benefiting from its momentum with planned development. Toronto ranked third, with quality of living at its core. Paris, Amsterdam, New York, Stockholm, and San Francisco took the fourth to eighth places respectively.

"The top eight cities excelled in three or more categories of the 10 indicators and performed well in those indicators relating to living standards. This reflected the decisive role in urban development played today by a city's overall caliber and ability to satisfy the needs of its residents," said Jin.

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