Michael Thompson


CEO (Asia-Pacific), Cushman & Wakefield

Roy Melick

Partner, Baker & McKenzie

Anupam Prakash

Practice leader (Asia Pacific), Hewitt Associates

Lawrence Yeo

CEO, AsiaBIZ Strategy


Singapore has been crowned fDi Magazine’s Asian City of the Future 2009/2010, climbing from second place in the previous competition which took place two years ago. Singapore performed well across the spectrum, claiming top positions in the categories of business friendliness and quality of life, second place in infrastructure (behind Hong Kong), and third place in economic potential, behind Shanghai and Beijing.

Chinese cities have dominated the competition, which is unsurprising, given that China has been the top destination country for global FDI since 2003. Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou all achieved places within the top 10 in the overall Cities of the Future category, with Shanghai and Beijing claiming the top two positions in the category of economic potential, as both locations are among the top three destination cities for inward FDI into the Asia-Pacific region.

Tokyo ranked second in the Cities of the Future competition, scoring in the top 10 of all categories, with the exception of cost effectiveness. Tokyo is regarded by fDi Magazine as the best Asian city for human resources, primarily due to its high number and high quality of universities.

Hong Kong ranked fourth overall, a position separated by only four percentage points from the leader, Singapore. Hong Kong was perceived by the independent judging panel to have the best FDI strategy of the cities in the Asia-Pacific region and also ranked as the city with the best infrastructure, somewhat attributable to the high quality of port and air transport infrastructure as well as wide telecommunications coverage.

Australian cities also performed well, with the judging panel ranking Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth in the top 10 for the best FDI strategy, and Melbourne and Brisbane ranking seventh and 10th, respectively, overall. Seoul in South Korea also performed well across the categories, positioning the city fifth in the overall Cities of the Future ranking.

fDi Magazine’s Asian Cities of the Future 2009/10 shortlists, which took more than six months to research and involved data collection from 133 Asia-Pacific cities, has ranked Surabaya as top for cost effectiveness, followed by Johor Bahru and Davao. These cities have relatively low wages and low location costs.


In April 2008, the Financial Times Ltd acquired fDi Markets and fDi Benchmark. fDi Markets is an independent database tracking global FDI on a real-time basis whereas fDi Benchmark is an independent database which benchmarks global locations on how appealing they are to foreign investors. This division compiled the majority of the data for the Cities of the Future competition, with the exception of the FDI promotion strategy category, which was submitted by individual cities and assessed by the judging panel. These changes have made the competition even more objective.


fDi Cities of the Future shortlists are created by the independent collection of data by fDi Benchmark across 133 Asia-Pacific cities. This information was set under six categories: economic potential, human resources, cost effectiveness, quality of life, infrastructure and business friendliness. A seventh category was added – FDI promotion strategy. In this category, 24 Asia-Pacific cities submitted details about their promotion strategies and this was assessed and scored by the independent judging panel.

Cities could score up to a maximum of 10 points for each individual criteria, which were weighted by importance to give the overall scores. Where data was available only at a national rather than city level, a lower weighting was generally applied.


Click on the link below for a PDF version of the complete results:


Download other Asian Cities of the Future results here:

Asia-Pacific Cities of the Future 2011/12
Asian Cities of the Future 2007/08

Asia-Pacific Cities of the Future 2013/14

To register your interest in the next ranking, fDi Asia-Pacific Cities of the Future 2013/14 please contact Gráinne.Byrne@ft.com.