Singapore ranks second in Asia after Tokyo as a key centre of commerce, according to a study by MasterCard Worldwide Research.
The study ranks the top 75 centres of commerce by comparing how they perform critical functions that connect markets around the world.
Globally, Singapore takes fourth spot ahead of Hong Kong which is sixth in this year’s index.
According to the study, Singapore shines as a financial hub for its ease in doing business, economic stability, as well as legal and political framework.
Phillip Overmyer, Chief Executive, Singapore International Chamber of Commerce, said: “The things that we consistently hear are that people want quality and stability in business decisions from the government. They want predictability and stability and those are the kinds of things that are rated in this study and show Singapore with very high rankings.”
But analysts said the city-state must not be complacent as ratings for Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong are very close to one another. They added that ASEAN integration may help Singapore break into the top three.
Manu Bhaskaran, CEO, Centennial Group, Member of Research Panel, said: “If the ASEAN region were to enjoy a sharp acceleration in economic growth over the next few years, then the sheer volume of activity that will be generated, will gravitate towards Singapore and that would help us move up the rankings.”
The study also showed Asia and Eastern Europe’s growing importance in the business world, with eight Asian cities in the top 25 list.
And experts said ongoing urbanisation means that economic activity will be increasingly city-oriented. As a result, cities in Asia will make a play for a greater share of such activity.
Shanghai jumped eight notches to number 24 from its 32nd spot a year ago.
London was number one in the global ranking, followed by New York, Tokyo, Singapore and Chicago. – CNA/vm
Source : Channel NewsAsia – 9 Jun 2008