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3 RP cities make it to the 'Top 10' Asian cities of the future

Sun.Star: Foreign investment experts have again noticed Cebu City’s potential for business and ranked it as eighth of the Top 10 Asian Cities of the Future, in a list by the Finance Direct Investment (fDi) magazine of the Financial Times Group. Only two other Philippine cities, Quezon City and Davao City, made it to the top 10, ranking seventh and 10th place, respectively. Cebu City also ranked fourth in the list of 10 most cost-effective cities, seventh in the best quality of life category and second in development and promotion, next only to Singapore. Cebu City, however, was left out in the list of cities in these categories: best infrastructure, most business-friendly, best human resources and best economic potential. Mayor Tomas Osmeña welcomed the report but said the whole country should improve so that other cities could also fare better in the ranking. “That’s good news. We cannot be number one if the whole Philippines doesn’t improve," he said. 60 items The cities of Singapore and Hong Kong grabbed the first and second spots, respectively. The survey on “Asian Cities of the Future" was conducted by London-based Foreign Direct Investment magazine published by the Financial Times (FT) group in the United Kingdom. Sixty criteria from cost effectiveness to human resources and infrastructure were used in evaluating over 200 big and small cities all over Asia by a panel of judges, including independent location consultants, corporate professionals and other inward investment experts. The Cebu Investment Promotions Center (CIPC) was made the point organization for the entire Cebu in the survey, the results of which were published in the website of the Invest Asia Pacific. In a phone interview, CIPC Managing Director Joel Mari Yu said Cebu City’s ranking is a recognition of what the private sector and the government have done to improve the city. But he believes Cebu City could have fared better if basic infrastructure such as roads, water and power supply were improved. Weak point “This is one of the reasons I think the survey results are reliable because in the criteria on infrastructure, Cebu City is nowhere to be found. Relatively, we have good infrastructure but if you compare it with our neighbors like Singapore and Malaysia, makalolooy gyud ta (we look pathetic)," Yu told Sun.Star Cebu. Although Cebu City has good telecommunications services and has enough buildings and office spaces to accommodate investors, it has to improve infrastructure and address traffic congestion problems, he added. “Infrastructure is our weakest point. It should be the focus of our programs in improving business environment. Water and power supply should be the main focus and it should be privatized to ensure stability of supply. The roads should be improved to address congestion in the streets," Yu continued. Cebu City also ranked third in the list of youngest cities and fifth among cities with the lowest secretarial costs. Among the cities with the lowest middle management salary, Cebu City ranked seventh while Davao and Quezon City ranked second and third, respectively. Low costs The city also ranked 10th among cities with the lowest senior management cost. Davao City ranked third while Quezon City ranked fourth in the same category. In the lowest manual labor cost category, Cebu City ranked fifth, Davao City followed at sixth place and Quezon City ranked seventh. FDi’s survey on the locations of the future competition covers each region once every two years. The judges for the 2007-2008 survey are David Kinnear, president of DDC HRO, a provider of business process outsourcing solutions in New York; James Ku, manager at the consultancy firm Tactus-Asia Ltd. in Shanghai. Anupam Prakash, Asia Pacific leader for global business sourcing and business transformation at the HR consultancy firm Hewitt Associates in India and Lawrence Yeo, CEO of international consultancy firm AsiaBiz Strategy in Singapore, were also judges. - Sun.Star