SOURCE: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
London ranks top in PwC Cities of Opportunity Index, followed by Singapore and Toronto
- European cities – London, Paris, Amsterdam – make a strong showing in biennial PwC study
- Economic clout, ease of doing business, education, technology readiness, location and access, amongst key measures
- London performance underlines strengths and potential areas for competition post Brexit
- City risk resilience and tax profiles assessed
- 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 third position in 2014. In addition to ranking #1 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, have the lowest rates and highest efficiency collectively.
- Toronto, third in the study, ranks in the top 10 in seven of 10 indicators, and does particularly well in categories that speak to 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 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 9 out of 10 indicators. It returns to first in demographics and liveability overall, tying New York. Paris also bounces back to 2nd as a city gateway after falling to 7th in 2014.
- Amsterdam enters the study for the first time this year – in 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 a further four indicators (city gateway; health safety and security; demographics and liveability; and economic clout), challenging the traditional urban powerhouses.
- At #6, New York remains part of a global urban elite – but drops from 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 #16) as well as cost (#25). On the upside, the city finished #1 (tied with Paris) in demographics and liveability, #2 in economic clout, and #3 in technology readiness (tied with Amsterdam).
- Stockholm, seventh, performs particularly well in the area of sustainability and the natural environment (#1 tied with Sydney) and transportation and infrastructure (#3). In addition, the city outscores all others in two new variables, senior wellbeing and water-related business risk.
- Beijing, which retains its overall #19 spot, performs particularly well in two study indicators: city gateway (#3) and economic clout (#3).
- Eight different cities finish first in at least one indicator. One of them – Johannesburg – tops all cities in competitiveness on cost, but isn’t in the overall top 10.
- While the need for risk resilience is not new, the stakes of disaster have skyrocketed with cities facing increasing risk from extreme weather, terrorism, nuclear mishaps and other manmade threats, as well as disease. This year’s study shows that the most vulnerable cities can also be the most resilient. Tokyo came top in exposure to risk and in their ability to deal with it – outperforming all other cities in natural disaster preparedness. Amsterdam has the second highest disaster vulnerability but the fifth highest preparedness.
- PwC’s Cities of Opportunity 7 report measures 30 cities across 10 indicators including transportation and infrastructure, the ease of doing business, demographics and liveability, technology readiness and cost. In addition to the overall ranking, the study also ranks cities against each of the 10 indicators.
- Brexit and London scoring. London’s performance, as that of all our 30 cities, is based on a methodology assessing data mostly from 2014-2015, and as a result the recent UK referendum vote to leave the EU (June 2016) does not affect the Cities of Opportunity data and report. Future editions will try to gauge the short-and medium-term impact of the vote to leave the EU, if any. But right now, the city remains the most global in the UK, and a major financial center with a rich foundation of human capital and flexible tradition to build on.
- In order to make each of our 10 indicators ever more accurate and representative, we’ve increased our variables from 59 in our last report to 67 in this one and, in the process, added 15 entirely new variables while deleting or modifying another 12. Amsterdam, Bogotá, and Lagos enter the study for the first time this year. As a result, direct edition versus edition comparisons for all results is not possible.
- Cities of Opportunity 7 is based on publicly available data, using three main sources: global multilateral development organisations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund; national statistics organisations, such as National Statistics in the UK and the Census Bureau in the US; and commercial data providers. The data was collected during the third and fourth quarters of 2015.
- Cities included in the report are: Amsterdam, Beijing, Berlin, Bogotá, Chicago, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, Lagos, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Mexico City, Milan, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto.
- The top three cities in each Cities of Opportunity indicator are: