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From Site Selection magazine, January 2014

Competitive Cities Report Narrows Location Options


Here’s where Asia-Pacific cities rank in the Top 20 metros out of 100 global cities analyzed:

International Headquarters

2. Singapore
5. Hong Kong
17. Sydney

Shared Services Center

2. Singapore
11. Sydney
17. Melbourne
18. Hong Kong
19. Kuala Lumpur

Software Development

7. Singapore
11. Hong Kong
14. Tokyo

Financial Services

3. Singapore
5. Hong Kong
19. Sydney

Life Sciences R&D and Production

3. Singapore

hich Asia-Pacific cities deserve a spot on site selectors’ short lists of potential international headquarters locations? Which are most competitive for financial services operations, or shared services centers? Where in the region is a new software development enterprise likely to thrive, or a new life sciences office? Site selectors now have a new tool for measuring potential success for these types of facilities not just in the Asia-Pacific region, but globally.

In November, Plant Location International (PLI), a global service of IBM Global Business Services Strategy & Transformation practice, released the inaugural World’s Most Competitive Cities report with supplemental city profiles from the editors of Site Selection. How is this report unique?

“Unlike other city rankings published so far, this report is based on location decision criteria as they are used by corporate decision makers in real life,” notes the introduction. A location that works for a software development operation may be less suitable for a headquarters, so these are treated independently in the report, as are top locations for financial services, shared services and life sciences investment projects. That’s why users of the report will gain sector-specific intelligence that they will not find elsewhere. But the 100 cities analyzed benefit, too.

“For cities seeking to attract investment, it is important that they understand their competitive position within each sector and business function, and are able to see how this translates into a particular value proposition to investors within a regional or global context,” the report explains


Singapore is the only Asia-Pacific city that made the top 20 in each sector evaluated by the report.
Photo by Soo Jones-Kelley

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