World’s top cities for fresh opportunities

Updated: November 23, 2016 11:30:31 AM

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ recently-released biennial ‘Cities of Opportunity’ report assessed 30 global cities based on 10 economic and social health indicators, including transportation and infrastructure, ease of doing business, demographics and livability, technology-readiness and cost. Here are the top cities...

London retains the first position for the second edition in a row, and extends its lead against close rivals in the study. (Reuters)London retains the first position for the second edition in a row, and extends its lead against close rivals in the study. (Reuters)


London retains the first position for the second edition in a row, and extends its lead against close rivals in the study. The city is among the top three in six indicators covered by the study, including intellectual capital and innovation; technology readiness; city gateway; demographics and liveability; economic clout; and ease of doing business. Any effects Brexit may have on London will take place in a process that will evolve over time and not overnight. Questions include the effects on talent mobility and migration, trade, investment and regulation, among others.

Singapore, the city-state renowned for its planned development, comes in second—up from the third position in 2014. In addition to ranking number one in three indicators—technology readiness, transportation and infrastructure and the ease of doing business—the city performs well in the area of tax. An analysis of corporate total tax rate, personal rate and tax efficiency shows that Singapore, along with Dubai and Hong Kong, has the lowest rates and highest efficiency collectively.

Toronto, third in the study, ranks in the top 10 in seven of the 10 indicators, and does particularly well in categories that speak about the daily needs and concerns of urban residents—finishing second in health, safety and security; second in cost; and third in sustainability and the natural environment (tied with Seoul).

Paris rises to the fourth position overall from sixth in 2014 despite a decade of economic pressure and, more recently, terror attacks. Paris performed strongly across the measures, the only city to make the top 10 in nine out of the 10 indicators. It returns to the first place in demographics and overall liveability, tying with New York. Paris also bounces back to the second place as a city gateway after falling to the seventh position in 2014.

Amsterdam enters the study for the first time this year at the fifth position. The city finished in the top five in three indicators (intellectual capital and innovation; technology readiness; and sustainability and the natural environment). It also finished in the top 10 in four further indicators (city gateway; health safety and security; demographics and liveability; and economic clout), challenging the traditional urban powerhouses.

New York
At number six, New York remains part of a global urban elite, but drops from the second position in 2014 and first-place rankings in the editions before that. The city scores lower in many of this year’s newly-introduced measures and is overtaken by other cities’ gains in existing variables. It needs to improve substantially in sustainability and the natural environment, and health, safety and security (both number 16), as well as cost (number 25). On the upside, the city finished at number one (tied with Paris) in demographics and liveability, number two in economic clout, and number three in technology-readiness (tied with Amsterdam).

Stockholm, in the seventh place, performs particularly well in the area of sustainability and natural environment (number one, tied with Sydney) and transportation and infrastructure (number three). In addition, the city outscores all others in two new variables, senior well-being and water-related business risk.

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