MANILA, Philippines – Manila is among the world's emerging cities likely to progress in the next two decades, according to a study by US-based consulting firm A.T. Kearney Inc.
The Philippine capital placed second in the ranking, lagging behind Indonesian capital Jakarta.
"Two Southeast Asian cities, Jakarta and Manila, head up the list of emerging cities most likely to progress. Although both cities are currently in the lower half of the GCI on the dimension of business activity, their rapid improvement on the ECO's leading indicators would allow them to reach the business leaders faster than any other low- or middle-income city in the world except São Paulo," the report said.
A.T. Kearney said Manila “is bolstered by a relatively sharp increase in human capital indicators, with an especially notable improvement in healthcare quality and availability.”
The Philippines has seen rapid economic growth recently, with gross domestic product (GDP) growing 7.2 percent in 2013, surpassing the government’s target of 6-7 percent and one of the fastest in Asia.
A.T. Kearney’s Emerging Cities Outlook measured the likelihood that cities in low- and middle-income countries will improve their global standing over the next 10 to 20 years.
The study cited business activity, human capital and innovation in the emerging cities as indicators.
"Cities that wish to improve or maintain their global positioning must focus especially on strengthening business activity and human capital. As physical distances become less relevant and global competition intensifies, cities in emerging economies will increasingly jockey for position with one another and with cities in higher-income countries,” A.T. Kearney said in its report.
Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, ranked third while Sao Paulo in Brazil and New Delhi in India ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.
Rounding up the top 10 emerging cities likely to rise are Rio de Janeiro, Bogota, Mumbai, Nairobi, and Kuala Lumpur.