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Shanghai Approaches Hong Kong In Competitiveness Rankings

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

10 December 2012

According to the annual listings released by the China Institute of City Competitiveness, Hong Kong remains China’s most competitive city, but it is likely to be overtaken by Shanghai in the next few years.

The CICC is an independent organization founded in 1998 in Hong Kong, and has compiled its annual rankings of Chinese cities since 2002. The 21 rankings it produces are based on a study and assessment organized by CICC of 289 Chinese cities, taking in a wide range of indicators, including the economy, competitiveness, internationalization, environment and growth potential.

Hong Kong has led the competitiveness ranking for the past 11 years, with Shanghai now second and Beijing and Guangzhou in third and fourth places respectively. However, Shanghai has been catching Hong Kong, reaching a score of 14,607 points compared withHong Kong’s 14,879 points. Hong Kong’s lead over Shanghai has fallen to just 272 points, from some 1,560 points the previous year.

Hong Kong can therefore expect to face a challenge from Shanghai in the CICC rankings in a short time. It is said to remain at the top of the listings until now only because of its established legal and open market systems and its professional sector.

However, Hong Kong’s position is said to be under threat as its reputation as an open market has been affected by increasing recent intervention by its government, the latest manifestation of which has been the introduction of a 15% Buyer’s Stamp Duty, that is being imposed on all buyers who are not Hong Kong permanent residents – on foreign individuals, and on local and foreign companies.

CICC also announced that, being the Asia-Pacific's major international finance, trade, shipping, tourism and information centre, and with the world's busiest container port, Hong Kong also reached 7th in its world city ranking, behind New York, London, Tokyo, Paris, Los Angeles and Chicago, in that order.

TAGS: tax | business | marine | financial services | China | offshore | stamp duty | Hong Kong | trade | services

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