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Singapore leaps three places to rank second in global cities outlook list

31 May 2019

Samuel Chin

SINGAPORE has vaulted past cities like San Francisco and Paris to come in second place on the Global Cities Outlook list for 2019.

The list is part of the AT. Kearney 2019 Global Cities Report which ranks cities based on which one is best placed to become the "next generation of global hubs".

The performance of the cities are measured using 13 leading indicators across the four dimensions of personal well-being, innovation, governance and economics, with Singapore leading the pack for the latter.

Singapore also moved up a notch to sixth place in the Global Cities Index, a more current view on the world's global cities. The Index sorts the cities based on their performance in 27 metrics across five dimensions such as business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experiences and political engagement.

"Singapore's focus on innovation through the development of incubators along with governance and transparency improvements are essential to its rise," said Ben Copcutt, head of Asia-Pacific marketing at AT Kearney.

He added that in order for Singapore to move up the Global Cities Index, it needs to make further progress in the areas like the cultural experience dimension, especially in relation to the visual and performing arts offerings it has, and political engagement.

For the Global Cities Outlook list, Mr Copcutt said: "A marginal improvement in the personal well-being dimension could elevate it to top spot."

Elsewhere around the world, the report also highlighted present and emerging trends which are affecting the attractiveness of various cities on the list.

Key among them was uncertainty regarding Brexit and its potential impact on London and other European cities, which showed a slowdown in business activity which analysts at AT Kearney interpreted as "an indicator that companies are pausing their spending amid the uncertainty".

Meanwhile, rising signs of populism, protectionism in the West, which are manifesting in the form of tariffs and anti-immigration policies, have prevented the governance scores of Western cities from improving significantly.

On the flipside, analysts pointed out that cities in China were rising more rapidly up the ranks, with their average index scores growing at least three times faster than cities in the West.

Chinese cities made significant gains in its governance scores, which AT Kearney said could be an indication that China might be opening up its government and cultivating a "more positive regulatory environment".

Additionally, analysts predicted that China's next round of city transformation would focus on citizens through measures such as encouraging civic participation, supporting diversity and inclusion, empowering and utilising the ageing workforce and enabling human-artificial intelligence coexistence, among others.

To create the "fastest" city on the the Global Cities Outlook list, one with a composite score of 100 across all Outlook metrics, AT Kearney said that it would need to combine 11 cities.

The 11 cities are namely Tokyo, Prague, Sydney, Dubai, Boston, Muscat, San Francisco, Beijing, Moscow, London and Geneva.