Most globalised cities

More than half of the world’s population now lives in the cities . More people will live in them in future.

Foreign Policy publishes a list of the most global cities. For the 2010 ranking, Kuala Lumpur is on the list, ranked No. 48.  It confirms that we are indeed in the middle income trap. Not a bad ranking, but not in the top either. A position sports people will term it as  ” also-run”.

The criteria used is not size  alone. Globalisation does mean global competitiveness and how attractive a city is to global businesses. The publisher suys this regading the criteria used:


So what makes a Global City? Not size alone, that’s for sure; many of the world’s largest megalopolises, such as Karachi (60), Lagos (59), and Kolkata (63), barely make the list. Instead, the index aims to measure how much sway a city has over what happens beyond its own borders — its influence on and integration with global markets, culture, and innovation. To create this year’s rankings, we analyzed 65 cities with more than 1 million people across every region of the globe, using definitive sources to tally everything from a city’s business activity, human capital, and information exchange to its cultural experience and political engagement. Data ranged from how many Fortune Global 500 company headquarters were in a city to the size of its capital markets and the flow of goods through its airports and ports, as well as factors such as the number of embassies, think tanks, political organizations, and museums. Taken together, a city’s performance on this slate of indicators tells us how worldly — or provincial — it really is.

The seats of traditional political power aren’t necessarily the most global. Only four of the top 10 cities are national capitals. Washington comes in at No. 13. Beijing (15) edges out Berlin (16), which trounces Moscow (25). Two of the top 10 global cities are laws unto themselves, operating outside the jurisdiction of a separate national government (Hong Kong and Singapore). The sun set a half-century ago on the British Empire, and yet London continues to shine at No. 2. For now.

Just a sideline. I am fortunate that even though I am not rich, I have been to the top five cities listed, and 13 out of the top 15 ( I have not been to Chicago and Sidney).  Not through any sponsored trips, all from my own travels… Mind you.. No one would sponsor a free trip for someone who is attacking the policies of the government– to be audited twice ( my clinic) in 2 months  is considered good treatment already;  they could have given me worse trouble. To think of it, I think I have lived a fairly good life, as a small man in the street who earns a decent living through my skill.  But I do not gamble, do not smoke, drink occasionally on social functions, and every penny is saved and used for the family. Much more fortunate than a lot of people, and I do donate to charity. So I need to pay back to society to at least speak out for the small people; that is the answer i give to my wife when she sometimes asks me not to risk myself in speaking out.  Also, my late mum always told me to ” compare with the less fortunate but do not compare with those who are wealthier than you”.. That mentality has made me a very contented person..

Please also note that Bangkok is ranked higher than us using globalisation as well as GDP; Thailand is really catching up with us, and this means that Bangkok citizens actually have a higher per capita income tha KL folks..

Jakarta also ranks higher than us using GDP. I thought we are richer than the indonesians. Maybe I am really behind time. Anyone can shed some views on this?

Rank City Rank by Population Rank by GDP
1 New York 6 2
2 London 28 5
3 Tokyo 1 1
4 Paris 20 6
5 Hong Kong 31 14
6 Chicago 25 4
7 Los Angeles 12 3
8 Singapore 38 23
9 Sydney 43 24
10 Seoul 22 19
11 Brussels 54 48
12 San Francisco 46 16
13 Washington 42 10
14 Toronto 36 20
15 Beijing 13 33
16 Berlin 48 46
17 Madrid 34 22
18 Vienna 55 40
19 Boston 41 11
20 Frankfurt 64 20
20 Shanghai 7 21
22 Buenos Aires 11 12
23 Stockholm 59 52
24 Zurich 61 58
25 Moscow 19 13
26 Barcleona 37 31
27 Dubai 56 49
28 Rome 49 37
29 Amsterdam 63 60
30 Mexico City 5 8
31 Montreal 44 35
32 Geneva 65 61
33 Miami 58 54
33 Munich 35 18
35 Sao Paulo 3 9
36 Bangkok 32 42
37 Copenhagen 60 59
38 Houston 40 17
39 Taipei 53 26
40 Atlanta 39 15
41 Istanbul 21 30
42 Milan 52 39
43 Cairo 17 36
44 Dublin 62 55
45 New Delhi 2 32
46 Mumbai 4 25
47 Osaka 16 7
48 Kuala Lumpur 57 65
49 Rio de Janeiro 14 27
50 Tel Aviv 50 40
51 Manila 15 34
52 Johannesburg 45 43
53 Jakarta 24 47
54 Bogota 29 45
55 Caracas 51 62
56 Nairobi 47 64
57 Guangzhou 27 38
58 Bangalore 30 53
59 Lagos 18 63
60 Karachi 10 50
61 Ho Chi Minh City 33 56
62 Shenzhen 26 28
63 Kolkata 8 44
64 Dhaka 9 50
65 Chongqing 23 57

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. A true Malaysian
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 14:37:32

    “….a free trip for someone who is attacking the policies of the government– to be audited twice ( my clinic) in 2 months is considered good treatment already.”

    ‘They’ not welcome or receptive of your input, but ‘we’ do.

    “…..she sometimes asks me not to risk myself in speaking out.”

    I can understand that. Just like we commentators of this forum, we are not here to give ‘they’ bad comments, we comment on bad, irrational policies and practices. If ‘they’ deem that as ‘insulting’ and refuse to change, what to do then? Let see how 13th GE turns out to be, it becoming more predictable.

    The latest ones are like the ‘Erection Zam’ and ‘Keris cousin of Najib’. More to come and that making the results of 13th GE more predictable.


  2. Thomas
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 15:00:10

    Don’t know how the do the rating but if KL is in between Osaka and Rio can that be bad?


  3. petestop
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 18:29:43

    I’m surprise that Shenzhen ranks so low, even though it ranks high on population and GDP, and based on my personal experience, has one of the most dynamic economy and entreprenuerial spirit.

    Not to mention a melting pot of people from all over the world.


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