The Fourth Edition of Cities of Opportunity has revealed Singapore as Asia’s leading city. Finishing in 9th place among 26 countries surveyed, results shows Singapore business to be doing extremely well especially in key areas — ease of doing business, economic clout, technology readiness and health, safety and security.

"Singapore remains a leading business hub in Asia," notes Mr. Gautam Banerjee, Executive Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers Singapore. All the cities that have done well in the ranking have well-established centres of economic energy and intellectual vitality. Remarking on Singapore’s standing, alongside leading cities like New York, London, Sydney and Hong Kong.

Gautam says, “The business registration environment in Singapore is really open and very vibrant, and that is what makes Singapore very attractive. The results show that universally, we accept that Singapore is one of easiest places to do business registration. All the stakeholders; government, corporate, unions, workforce, civil society, collaborate to ensure that Singapore remains a very competitive economy and that we always punch way above our weight as a small city state."

Gautam, commenting what being a successful city could mean to Singapore, says, “Will we still be relevant as a city? Will it be attractive to Singapore businesses and commerce, to families, to our young, or even to artists and writers? Because a city is invariably about the people living in it, we need to cultivate energy, build resilience and encourage forward thinkers to create opportunities that will nourish our city.”

Singapore ranks within the top ten places for ease of doing business , economic clout, technology readiness and health, safety and security. In terms of ease of doing Singapore business, the island Republic ranks 2nd, just behind the leading nation, Hong Kong, among other top cities such as New York, London and Toronto, which are 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively.

Singapore’s strength of ranking in this area stemmed fundamentally from the relatively flexible labour laws, as well as the ease of entry to the country, starting a business, hiring and its favourable operational risk climate.

The economic clout ranking is dominated by the usual suspects — London, Paris and New York.

Singapore follows behind Hong Kong and Madrid, at 6th position. Some reasons Singapore did not do as well as Hong Kong in this area include fewer Global 500 headquarters, weaker domestic market capitalization of its stock exchange and lower inflation. However, Singapore fares excellently in financial and business services employment, strength of currency, number of green field projects and capital investment, topping the other cities in terms of level of shareholder protection.

Technology readiness

Singapore also ranks 6th in technology readiness, which measures the hardware, software and
bandwidth required for intellectual and economic progress. This ranking could be improved by ensuring better performance in broadband quality.

Health, safety and security

Singapore ranks 8th in health, safety and security, tying for first with Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong for the lowest crime rate among the 26 cities and ranking 2nd, just behind Tokyo, for health system performance, an indicator which compares life expectancy to the cost of healthcare per person. In terms of number of hospitals, end of life care and stability of its political environment, Singapore sits comfortably in the middle.

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