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From Site Selection magazine, May 2012

New Challenges to
Regional Giants’ Dominance

Photos by Adam Jones-Kelley
Photos by Adam Jones-Kelley

hina and India metros dominate this year's Best to Invest ranking of Asia-Pacific cities — determined by Site Selection's New Plant Database, analysis from Amsterdam-based Investment Consulting Associates and a survey of global site consultants. But there's plenty of activity elsewhere in the region, particularly in Sydney, Australia, and Seoul and Ulsan, South Korea, which ranked sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively. Shenzhen (tied for 8th place) and Tianjin complete the Top 10 metros.

Best to Invest
Asia-Pacific Metros

      T1. Beijing, China
      T1. Shanghai, China
      T3. Chongqing, China
      T3. Chennai, India
       5. Bangalore, India
       6. Sydney, Australia
       7. Seoul, S. Korea
      T8. Ulsan, S. Korea
      T8. Shenzhen, China
      10. Tianjin, China

The region is well represented in Site Selection's annual recognition of the Top Deals for the previous calendar year — see the Top Deals of 2011 story. In the International (outside North America) category, half the deals are in Southeast Asia: in Andhra Pradesh, India ($98 million/3,300 jobs); Ford Motor Co. in Gujarat, India ($1 billion/5,000 jobs); GCL-Poly in Jiangsu Province, China ($2.2 billion); IBM in Cyberjaya, Malaysia ($318 million/3,000 jobs); and Infosys Technologies in Shanghai, China ($130 million/4,000 jobs).

Honorable Mentions include Bridgestone in Hai Phong City, Vietnam; Hankook Tire in Bekasi, Indonesia; Merck & Co. in Beijing, China; and Nokia Siemens Networks in Quezon City, Philippines. These cities may one day rank in the region's Best to Invest metros, too, as more corporate investors take notice of what brought this crop of projects to town.

Asia-Pacific's Cost Advantage

The 2012 edition of Competitive Alternatives, KPMG's Guide to International Business Location Costs, compiled by KPMG and MMK Consulting, includes cities in China and India in its analysis of more than 110 metros in 14 countries (The full report is accessible at, as well as Brazil and Russia, the other BRIC countries. The report studies the combined impact of 26 cost components in the context of 19 business lines, including, this year for the first time, advanced battery/fuel cell manufacturing, video game production and international financial services.

It ranks the mature Asia-Pacific cities competitive in this order: Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, Australia; followed by Osaka and Tokyo, Japan. High-growth markets in the region are dominated by Asia-Pacific locations — Chengdu, China, is first, followed by Chennai, India; Shanghai and Mumbai as the top four metros on a list of 10 high-growth cities around the world. In other words, by this analysis, large metros in the region are more cost competitive than large metros elsewhere, including Mexico City and Monterrey in Mexico, as well as São Paulo, Brazil, and Moscow and Saint Petersburg, in Russia.

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