ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore ranked fifth in Global Power City Index

It topped rankings in employee life satisfaction globally and startup environment in Asia.

Singapore retained its fifth spot out of 44 countries in the Global Power City Index (GPCI) by the Institute for Urban Strategies at the Mori Memorial Foundation in Japan. In its 10th consecutive year as the fifth placer, the Lion City placed second in Asia, lagging behind Tokyo.

Based on the report, Singapore’s strengths lie in its market attractiveness, trend-setting potential and opportunities for international interactions.

Singapore topped Asian cities with its fourth place finish in terms of the ‘startup environment’ indicator, which evaluates startup opportunities in cities. The country came in behind San Francisco, Berlin and Stockholm.

"Improvements in the number of foreign visitors and high scores in the number of foreign residents have established Singapore as Asia's leading international business hub," the report said.

Singapore gained the highest score for number of international conferences, with the report highlighting how the city hosted the historic Trump-Kim summit in June. It also placed 14th under the cities with direct international flights indicator, ranking behind Asian counterparts Hong Kong and Seoul.

Alongside London and Dubai, Singapore performed well in terms of number of foreign residents and visitors. The report cites these cities as internationally magnetic, attracting not only residents to live and work, but also visitors for tourism.

In addition, the country was ranked second behind London as the top city for managers with its economic freedom and corporate tax rate of 17%.

“Housing rent and price level are two key weaknesses for many cities placed high on the comprehensive ranking,” the report notes. The top 5 cities, including Singapore, ranked 30 or lower for both indicators.

Also read: Only top 5% of Singapore earners can afford a landed property: study

The report noted that Singapore and Hong Kong were amongst the cities holding some of the highest housing rents among GPCI cities, whilst also offering comparatively lower wages, the report said.

The index which has been publishing annually since 2008 ranks major cities according to their “level of magnetism” across six categories including economy, research and development, cultural interaction, livability, environment and accessibility. One of the GPCI’s peer reviewers was Heng Chye Kiang, Lum Chang chair professor at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Singapore ranked 9th both in terms of its economy and accessibility, 8th for research and development, 5th in cultural interaction, 13th in environment and 22nd in livability.

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