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New Asian players could emerge as threats to established cities like Singapore: JLL
A NUMBER of cities in the Asia-Pacific, including Sydney and Seoul, could emerge to challenge the dominance of established world cities such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo, property consultants JLL said.
The latter three make up half of the "Big Six" (the other three being Paris, New York and London) which attract world-class corporations, talent as well as more than one-fifth of the global real estate investment. Shanghai and Beijing are considered nearly-emerged, with the former already one of the world's top 10 financial hubs.
"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," Rosemary Feenan, director of global research programmes at JLL, said.
In a report titled Globalisation and Competition: The New World of Cities, JLL said the rigid hierarchy is breaking down as more cities compete to go global.
"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," it said, adding that this will have wide-ranging implications for citizens, governments and corporations, and provide some great opportunities for investors.
Taipei has been identified as an emerging world city, a growing financial centre with strong infrastructure and excellent governance. Kuala Lumpur is also considered a competitive mega-city, acting as a gateway to the regional markets in South-east Asia, with its strategic location and dynamic labour markets.
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, JLL said.
As for Singapore, the city-state's transparent and business-friendly environment, as well as information-led economy, should cement its position as an innovation hub, it said.
The top 10 emerging world cities in leading indices are: Shanghai, Beijing, Dubai, Istanbul, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Moscow, Sao Paulo, Bangkok and Mexico City.