Asia-Pacific cities driving the global economy: Report

The 100 biggest metropolitan economies in the Asia-Pacific region together accounted for 20 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) and 29 per cent of global GDP growth last year, with cities like Ho Chi Minh City (above) having one of the fa
The 100 biggest metropolitan economies in the Asia-Pacific region together accounted for 20 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) and 29 per cent of global GDP growth last year, with cities like Ho Chi Minh City (above) having one of the fastest GDP per capita growth.PHOTO: REUTERS

Asia-Pacific cities are driving the global economy.

From the west coast of the Americas, spanning cities including Vancouver, San Francisco and Lima, to Auckland, Jakarta and the metropolises of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo, the 100 biggest metropolitan centres across the region make up one-fifth of the global economy, amounting to US$22 trillion (S$30 trillion) last year.

The finding is according to a new analysis by the Brookings Institution, which identified the 100 largest metro economies – 49 in China, 19 in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, 12 in North America, seven each in South-east Asia and Latin America, and six in Australia and NewZealand.

“The Asia-Pacific MetroMonitor reaffirms the shift in global economic growth to the East and South, as Asia continues its path through urbanisation and industrialisation,” wrote the authors of the report, Mr Parilla and Mr Jesus Leal Trujillo.

“As a result, major metro economies remain the engines of the Asia-Pacific economy and its centres for trade and investment.”

The numbers tell their own story: The 100 biggest metropolitan economies in the Asia-Pacific region together accounted for 20 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) and 29 per cent of global GDP growth last year, according to Bloomberg.

If they were a single country, they would be the largest national economyon earth.

The Chinese metro economies enjoyed the fastest GDP per capita growth in the world.

With the exception of four, all slots in the top 20 were occupied by Chinese cities or special economic zones.

Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, the United States’ San Jose and Riverside, and Colombia’s Medellin were in the list topped by Macau.

Malaysia’s Georgetown and Kuala Lumpur and Indonesia’s Jakarta feature among the top 30 while Singapore comes in at 34th.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2015, with the headline 'Asia-Pacific cities driving the global economy: Report'. Print Edition | Subscribe