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Shanghai a top city for business
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Hong Kong ranks highest as the best city in which to locate a business in the Asia Pacific region followed by Shanghai and Singapore in a tie for second spot, world leading real estate services provider Cushman and Wakefield said yesterday.

Cushman and Wakefield yesterday released a report, Asia Pacific Cities Monitor 2008, which covers 16 cities across 13 countries and territories.

It examined the factors that determine the choice of one location over another when multinational corporations (MNCs) expand their presence in the region and includes comparisons of how the region's leading cities perform in key categories, ranging from those offering the best value in office space, to the best city in which to locate a new headquarters.

Access to markets and availability of a qualified talent pool were the two overwhelming factors influencing business decisions of MNCs in the region, according to the report.

Hong Kong, the traditional gateway to the Chinese mainland, remains the leading preferred destination to locate a business and is increasingly pursued by Shanghai, now clearly the major entry location on the mainland, followed by Singapore. These three cities are significantly ahead of their nearest rivals.

Beijing currently falls behind Shanghai despite being the capital city. After Singapore, Kuala Lumpur is the preferred destination in Southeast Asia and Mumbai the preferred Indian destination.

Singapore leads the pack as the preferred headquarters destination. Factors such as its central location and connectivity to other parts of Asia Pacific, quality of talent and infrastructure, transparency and ease of doing business and quality of life for employees, renders it that status.

However, though China has the greatest source of potential customers and clients, it doesn't have enough skilled staff and transparency in business still needs improvement, the report has found.

Indian cities monopolize the rankings for back office locations but are not preferred as headquarters destinations.

(Shanghai Daily July 31, 2008)

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