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World's top 15 hotspots: Asia rules

Last updated on: July 25, 2011 07:58 IST

World's top 15 hotspots: Asia rules

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The world's largest companies prefer booming Asian economies to set up their offices, reflecting a shift in global economic power, according to global real estate consultant C B Richard Ellis (CBRE).

The study, Business Footprints, analysed the office locations of 280 of the world's largest companies across 232 cities.

1. Hong Kong
No of companies: 191

Hong Kong, which is home to 68.2 per cent of the companies surveyed, was ranked the world's number one business destination.

The combined impact of rapid growth in mainland China's major markets, easy access to other major Asian economies, and Asia's emergence from the global recession have enabled Hong Kong to act as a gateway between the East and the West, says the CBRE study.

The access to a skilled, varied and often low-cost workforce for international businesses is another attraction.

Hong Kong boasts the world's third-lowest tax regime globally; corporation tax at a maximum of 16.5 per cent, personal income tax at a maximum of 15 per cent and no sales tax or VAT all provide an enticing scenario for international companies and workforces, CBRE points out.

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Image: The International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong.
Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters.
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2. Singapore
No of companies: 189

Singapore, the fastest growing economy in the world in 2010, has 67.5 per cent of surveyed companies.

Singapore has a highly developed market-based economy and is the world's fourth leading financial centre.

Singapore has one of the busiest ports in the world. It is the world's fourth largest foreign-exchange trading centre after London, New York and Tokyo.

The World Bank ranks Singapore as the world's top logistics hub.

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Image: ION Orchard mall, Singapore.
Photographs: Reuters.
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3. Tokyo
No of companies: 179

Japan's capital Tokyo, a bustling business hub is host to 63.9 per cent of the companies.

Tokyo has been described as one of the three 'command centres' for the world economy, along with New York City and London.

In 2010, Tokyo was named the second most expensive city for expatriate employees and ranked the fourth 'Most Liveable City'.

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Image: A man in a costume representing an iPad poses with his iPad in Tokyo.
Photographs: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters.
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4. London
No of companies: 177

London is the only city in the Western world to be ranked among the top five most popular cities worldwide, along with the rapidly emerging Eastern powers.

London ranks as a premier global location for companies in the banking and finance sector, with 92 per cent of companies having an office in the cities, according to CBRE.

London was ranked as the most popular location for professional services companies, with Hong Kong ranked at second place.

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Image: The London Stock Exchange building.
Photographs: Stephen Hird/Reuters.
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5. Shanghai
No of companies: 172

One of the world's major financial centres, Shanghai is now aiming to be an international shipping centre.

The city which reflects the booming economy of mainland China, is one of the most prosperous cities in the world.

Its cosmopolitan character, affluent consumers, and highly educated skilled labour force make it attractive to overseas investors.

Shanghai has recorded double-digit growth for 15 consecutive years.

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Image: HSBC headquarters building is seen in Pudong financial district in Shanghai.
Photographs: Carlos Barria/Reuters.
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6. Moscow
No of companies: 170

Moscow is one of largest city economies in Europe. It is the financial centre of Russia and home to the country's largest banks and many of its largest companies.

Moscow accounts for 17 per cent of retail sales in Russia and 13 per cent of all construction activity.

Several business sectors in Moscow have shown high rates of growth.

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Image: Skyscrapers under construction in Moscow's new business district.
Photographs: Alexander Natruskin/Reuters.
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7. Beijing
No of companies: 169

Beijing is home to 26 Fortune Global 500 companies, the third most in the world after Tokyo and Paris.

The Beijing central business district is home to a number of corporate regional headquarters, shopping avenues and luxury housing complexes.

Beijing prides to have many innovative entrepreneurs and high-growth startup companies.

The city has seen a boom in real estate and automobile sectors.

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Image: Beijing.

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8. Madrid
No of companies: 167

Madrid is a major centre for international business and commerce. It is one of Europe's largest financial centres and the largest in Spain.

Madrid has become the 23rd richest city in the world and third richest in Europe in terms of absolute GDP

Madrid's stable GDP, exchange rate and strong bond market, coupled with a high standard of living makes it an attrative destination for companies.

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Image: Madrid.

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9. Dubai
No of companies: 157

Dubai has emerged as a global city and a business hub.

Dubai was ranked seventh globally, with the presence of 70 per cent of the companies surveyed.

The CBRE report found a number of cities in less developed emerging markets are home to a significant proportion of international companies.

Besides the oil industry, Dubai gets its revenue from tourism, real estate and financial services.

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Image: Dubai.

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10. Paris
No of companies: 156

Paris has been ranked among the three most important and influential cities in the world.

It has been rated as one of the three 'European cities of the future', by Financial Times.

It has also been ranked among the top ten most liveable cities in the world according to the British review Monocle.

Paris is also the world's most expensive city to live in, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit in 2010.


Image: A new skyscraper is being built in the financial district of la Defense near Paris.
Photographs: Charles Platiau/Reuters.
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11. New York
No of companies: 155

New York is ranked as a premier location globally for companies in the banking and finance sector, with 92 per cent of companies having an office in the cities, according to CBRE.

New York was the most popular business location in the Americas, but ranked only 11th globally, with 55.4 per cent of companies located there.

This in part reflects the expansive size of the United States, which offers international companies numerous choices to access its markets, says the CBRE report.

Among countries, the United States ranks first with 89.6 per cent of global companies represented there.

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Image: Anna Muller sits inside a shopping cart during Black Friday sales at the Toys R Us store in New York
Photographs: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters.
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12. Warsaw
No of companies: 150

Warsaw, an alpha-world city is home to 53 per cent of international companies.

The capital city of Poland, Warsaw is considered to be one of the biggest emerging markets.

Warsaw was ranked as one of the world's most expensive cities to live in. It has been classified as an Alpha-world city.

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Image: Warsaw.

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13. Milan
No of companies: 147

One of Europe's main transportation and industrial hubs, Milan is the European Union's 10th most important centre for business and finance.

Milan is recognised as a world fashion and design capital Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino and Missoni are headquartered in the city.

Milan is the world's 11th most expensive city for expatriate employees and world's 12th most expensive city to live in.

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Image: Milan.

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14. Sao Paulo
No of companies: 146

The largest city in Brazil, Sao Paulo is among the five largest metropolitan areas. Sao Paulo is the tenth richest city in the world, and is expected to be the 6th richest in 2025.

Sao Paulo's economy is driven by the tertiary sector, focusing on services and businesses for the country.  The city is also unique among Brazilian cities for its large number of foreign corporations.

Sao Paulo has the largest concentration of German businesses worldwide.

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Image: Sao Paulo.

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15. Bangkok
No of companies: 137

Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand is also its commercial hub.

Thailand has remained as a mainstay of the Southeast Asian economy and a key centre in Asian business.

Bangkok is home to the headquarters of all of Thailand's major commercial banks and financial institutions and a number of international banks.


Image: Bangkok.

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