Singapore named among top 10 Asian cities for job, income growth, says survey

SINGAPORE - Singapore has been named among Asia’s top 10 cities, in a ranking that focuses on economies that best fuel job and income growth. It is placed eighth - the only developed economy among the top 10 - by the Milken Institute, in its first-ever ranking of the economic performance of Asia’s major cities.

Singapore’s placing is a remarkable showing given the survey’s methodology which rewards fast-growing cities, says Milken Institute in a statement today.

“The city-state is an economic role model on how to transition from a low-cost location to an open international economy, based on human capital, research and innovation capacities,” it notes.

“Above all other factors, it is job creation that drives the formation and expansion of the middle class in Asia’s most dynamic cities,” says Ross DeVol, the institute’s chief research officer and one of the authors of the study.

”Our data-based index highlights the urban economies that are doing the best job in both creating jobs and transitioning to a higher value-added, more sustainable, growth rate.”

The institute’s Best-Performing Cities Asia Index is based on actual economic performance assessing job and income growth, and the strength of industries on the extent economic value they add.

Six of the top 10 cities are in China, with Shenzhen at the apex.

As China’s first special economic zone, Shenzhen remains a major production hub, boosting factories that employ tens of thousands of workers who produce iPhones for Apple and assemble components for many other firms, the survey notes.

In recent times, the city’s rapid progress up the economic ladder has been fuelled by higher value-added - and better paying - industries such as telecommunications, finance and biopharmaceuticals.

Three other Chinese cities – Guangzhou, Chengdu and Tianjin – round out the top four while Beijing is placed seventh.

Shanghai comes in at no. 10.

Outside of China, the best-ranked cities are India’s New Delhi (5th), Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur (6th), Singapore (8th) and Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City (9th).