Shanghai now one of world's leading commercial centers: Mastercard

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 09 2008 10:53 PM | Updated as of Jun 10 2008 06:53 AM

Agence France-Presse

SINGAPORE - Shanghai has vaulted into the ranks of the world's leading centres of commerce, becoming one of eight Asian cities among the top 25, a study released Monday by MasterCard said.

Tokyo retained its spot as Asia's top commercial centre -- and number three globally -- while Singapore overtook Hong Kong to move into fourth spot overall, the MasterCard Worldwide Centres of Commerce Index said.

Hong Kong ranks sixth globally, it said.

"Asia’s dominance among the top 25 cities globally demonstrates the growing importance of Asian cities to a progressively urbanised global economy," MasterCard said in a press release.

The study found Shanghai jumped to 24th spot from 32nd in last year's survey, it said.

"Shanghai, in particular, continues to leverage its historically strong position as the financial and logistical gateway to Asia and is well positioned to reassume its place among the top three cities in the world within the next 15 to 20 years," said Manu Bhaskaran, a member of the panel which conducted research for the index.

Other Asian cities in the top 25 global centres of commerce are: Seoul in ninth spot, Sydney in 12th, Osaka 19th, and Taipei at 22nd spot.

MasterCard said China "continues to cement its growing regional importance" with five cities in the index of 75 cities. In addition to Shanghai, the Chinese cities are Beijing, at 57th spot globally, Shenzhen at 60th, Chengdu in 72nd spot and Chongqing at 73.

London remained the world's number one centre of commerce, the study found. Other non-Asian cities in the top 10 were: New York, in second spot, Chicago fifth, Paris seventh, Frankfurt eighth and Amsterdam 10th, it said.

The index, developed by a panel of social scientists, rates cities on seven key dimensions including legal and political framework, economic stability and livability, MasterCard said.

"The Centers of Commerce Index is a roadmap for corporations to identify and evaluate investment and market opportunities in a world where cities, instead of countries, have become the primary economic players," said Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, economic adviser for MasterCard Worldwide, Asia/Pacific.