Singapore ranked second-best Asian city for tech firms: Report

Singapore scored highly due largely to its strong talent pool, personal tax rates, safety and living quality. These outweighed its lower ranking on property metrics. It is expected to continue to benefit from its position as a well-connected financia
Singapore scored highly due largely to its strong talent pool, personal tax rates, safety and living quality. These outweighed its lower ranking on property metrics. It is expected to continue to benefit from its position as a well-connected financial and communications hub for regional operations, said Colliers. ST FILE PHOTO

Singapore is the second-best city for technology companies that are looking to establish or expand operations in Asia, according to a report yesterday.

The report ranked 16 large Asian cities on socio-economic, property and human factors in order to identify the best urban locations. Bangalore in India led the way with Singapore and Shenzhen next.

Top-ranked Bangalore, with a score of 68 per cent, will be the fastest-growing city in Asia over the next five to 10 years with a wide and deep talent pool, the study noted.

The Indian city also boasts the largest stock of Grade A office space in Asia after Tokyo, low staff costs and office rents, and low living costs.

However, it scored less well on the quality of its office accommodation and infrastructure, said the report from property services company Colliers International.

Singapore, at 63 per cent, scored highly due largely to its strong talent pool, personal tax rates, safety and living quality. These outweighed its lower ranking on property metrics.

The city is expected to continue to benefit from its position as a well-connected financial and communications hub for South-east Asia and Asia-Pacific operations, said Colliers.

Shenzhen, with a score of 61 per cent, reigns as China's technology capital.

Heavy investment in research and development has broadened the city's tech base far beyond hardware manufacturing, while it also scored highly on property factors due to moderate staff costs, ample office stock, flexible workspace and planned new supply.

Other cities that scored well include Beijing, Hyderabad and Hong Kong.

Moderate long-run growth prospects weighed down Tokyo and Taipei despite good scores on human factors. Emerging cities scored well on high growth and low costs, but performed badly on employment criteria and human aspirational metrics.

"Looking ahead, Singapore should continue to benefit from its position as the natural financial and communications hub of South-east Asia, and from the government-supported transition to the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution," the report said. "We envisage supply of business park and high-specification industrial space doubling by 2030."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 20, 2018, with the headline 'Singapore ranked second-best Asian city for tech firms: Report'. Print Edition | Subscribe