Beijing, 8th most influential city in the world
According to the latest study by Forbes, Beijing ranks among the top 10 most influential cities in the world. The capital of the People's Republic of China and Sydney tied for the eighth spot.
Forbes also assessed that the Chinese cities Shanghai and Beijing have been gaining influence over the past years and forecasted they might move up in the list of most influential cities in the future.
The study shows that size does not matter anymore, as the Chinese capital came ahead of the country's largest metropolitan area Shanghai. “We ranked China's capital eight, ahead of Shanghai (19th)” because “with the advantage of being the country's all-powerful political center, Beijing is the headquarters of most large state-owned companies and is home to the country's elite educational institutions and its most innovative companies,” the report said.
Although Sydney only has 4.5 million residents, significantly less than Beijing's 21 million, the Australian city tied with the Chinese capital due to its high level of foreign investment and 15th ranking on the Z/Yen Group's 2013 Global Financial Centres Index, among other factors.
London still ranks first as the most influential city in the world, even after more than a century of imperial decline, the analysts at Forbes stated. Despite describing the United Kingdom as a “second-rate power”, the analysts put London at the top of its power list, saying the city's “unparalleled legacy as a global financial capital still underpins its pre-eminence”.
"A preferred domicile for the global rich, London is not only the historical capital of the English language, which contributes to its status as a powerful media hub and major advertising centre, but it's also the birthplace of the cultural, legal and business practices that define global capitalism," it said.
New York, which came in a close second in the study, is home to most of the world's top investment banks and hedge funds, and the massive stock trading volume on the city's exchanges. New York is followed by Paris and Singapore in the list, which signals a shift of power to “savvy” cities, rather than the largest or fastest growing.
To determine the most influential cities, John Korkin, urban geographer Ali Modarres, analyst Aaron Reen and demographer Wendell Cox graded 58 metropolitan areas in in eight categories: the amount of foreign direct investment they have attracted, the concentration of corporate headquarters, how many particular business niches they dominate, air connectivity, strength of producer services, financial services, technology and media power and racial diversity.
Of the world's 10 most populous cities, only Tokyo, New York and Beijing made the top 10 for influence, showing that while in the past century the greatest global cities were generally the largest and centres of the world's great empires, “today size is not so important”.
Among the cities on the rise, there's another Chinese city, which is Shanghai. However, these data is also relevant for the region as many of the cities which are gaining influence are in Asia, shifting the traditional influence from European and American cities to Asia-Pacific.