Rise of ‘two world capitals’ in China

Rise of ‘two world capitals’ in China

BEIJING, Sept 6 — China will be home to not one but two “world capitals of the future”, according to a report by Forbes magazine.

Its two biggest cities, Beijing and Shanghai, are poised to overtake leading global centres of today, says the magazine in a report by its columnist Joel Kotkin.

Other growing cities that made it to Forbes’ list of 10 “World Capitals of the Future” are Mumbai, Calgary, Dallas, Dubai, Houston, Moscow, Perth and Sao Paulo.

The magazine considered a variety of factors — including population growth, oil-driven wealth, business verve as well as changes in the cities’ skylines — to come up with the list, which does not appear to be in any ranking order.

“In less than a lifetime, we have seen the rapid rise of a host of dynamic new global cities – and the relative decline of many others. The world capitals of tomorrow may largely be not in the Western world, but in countries such as China, Russia and Australia,” says the Forbes report dated Sept 2.

The main reason behind what it termed the “new order among global cities” lies in economic fundamentals.

“Over the past 25 years, per capita income, based on purchasing power parity, grew by over 400 per cent in India and a remarkable 1,500 per cent in China.

“The bulk of that wealth came from urban centres like Mumbai and Shanghai, while the largest concentrations of poverty remained in the countryside. In that same period, US per capita income grew by 245 per cent; growth in most Western European nations was less than that,” the report said.

Describing the rise of Beijing and its likes as remarkable, the report says these cities were either obscure or better known for their destitution than their rapid construction less than a quarter century ago.

While the report did not forecast how close the “future” it talks about is, it noted that those catching-up are clearly gaining on current leading global centres like Tokyo, London, Paris, New York, Chicago, Singapore and Hong Kong in wealth or economic power — and with remarkable speed.

Read all in Malaysian Insider

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