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Singapore's skyline from Marina Bay Sands

Singapore crowned Asia’s premium global city, KL lags behind

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Singapore has been named Asia’s premium global city, coming in fourth on the global list behind London, New York and Paris.

The city state beat Tokyo (5th place), Hong Kong (6th) and Beijing (8th), which were the only other Asian cities on a list complied by California-based Chapman University’s Center for Demographics and Policy and Singapore’s Civil Service College.

While Singapore celebrates its win, neighbouring Kuala Lumpur appears to have a bit to catch up on, according to the report, which stated cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh are “unlikely to become global cities in the immediate or even mid-range future”.

“These are significant centres of global production, but limited in their international scope and have little role in the ‘command and control’ of international commerce,” the report said.

Kuala Lumpur came in 31st on the list, tied with Mumbai  and beating Bangkok (34th), Delhi (34th), Jakarta (44th) and Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh City and Osaka, which all tied for 47th place.

Singapore’s strong performance was a result of the city’s strong infrastructure, justice system as well as business friendliness and competitiveness. It was also found to be the leading location for European companies to establish headquarters in the region.

“For example, compared to Tokyo, Singapore now has more than twice as many regional headquarters,” the report said.

“Singapore and Hong Kong also perform far better in this respect than Asia’s numerous, much larger but less affluent megacities.”

Top 20 global cities

1. London
2. New York
3. Paris
4. Singapore
5. Tokyo
6. Hong Kong
7. Dubai
8. Beijing
8. Sydney
10. Los Angeles
10. San Francisco Bay Area
10. Toronto
13. Zurich
14. Frankfurt
14. Houston
16. The Randstad
16. Seoul
16. Washington Metropolitan Area
19. Shanghai
20. Abu Dhabi
20. Chicago

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