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Singapore ranks fifth on global cities outlook index

SINGAPORE has risen six spots to rank fifth in the world in an index that tracks the outlook for global cities.

The index, known as the AT Kearney Global Cities Outlook 2018, assesses cities across the world based on a city's potential. This is judged on four parameters: personal well-being, economics, innovation and governance. All four criteria are given equal weightages of 25 per cent each.

Singapore's boost in rankings in this year's outlook reflected its assessed strength in economics and governance, which ranked it second overall. This improvement, according to the ranking, drew on Singapore's strength as a "stable and progressive economy" to drive more foreign direct investments and private investments.

According to the index, Singapore is also ranked highly for its "Smart Nation" drive that reflects public-private sector partnerships and investment into innovation and security, among other things.

"The Singapore government has been actively investing to transform the island-state into a 'Smart City' equipped with cutting-edge technology and a nationwide digital platform," said Chua Soon Ghee, head of South-east Asia at AT Kearney, a US consulting firm.

"In today's digital age, this is a significant factor continuing to boost Singapore's appeal for businesses who choose the city-state as their regional headquarters. What's more, the high levels of preparedness for both physical and cybersecurity provide good levels of assurance for businesses."

Singapore is the only Asia-Pacific city to be featured among the top five global cities, based on its outlook.

San Francisco took the top spot on the global cities outlook, followed by New York. London and Paris took the third and fourth spots respectively.

Singapore ranks seventh on a separate global cities index compiled by AT Kearney, falling one spot from sixth in 2017.

This second index ranks cities according to these five criteria: business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience, and political engagement. A higher weightage for the ranking falls on business activity and human capital, at 30 per cent each.

The smallest weightage goes to political engagement, at 10 per cent, with the remainder split between information exchange and cultural experience.

New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong stayed at the respective top five positions on the global cities index this year, while Los Angeles jumped two spots to the sixth position in 2018.

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