The 27 Best Cities For Doing Business [RANKED]

Singapore

Photo: Joshua Santino/Flickr

New York edged out London by one point for the top spot in the annual Cities of Opportunity report by  PricewaterhouseCoopers.The report measures  a city’s comprehensive potential for business across 10 economic indicators. The categories range from intellectual capital and innovation to sustainability and the natural environment to city gateway—an indicator of global interconnectedness and international attraction. 

While the top of the list might skew toward the West, Asian cities are gaining fast. In fact, Beijing leads the way in economic clout, a measure of “a city’s dominion beyond its borders.”

27. Mumbai

Strongest categories: Cost*; economic clout

Weakest categories: Demographics and livability; health, safety and security

*PwC defines 'cost' as measuring the 'costs for a businessperson living in our cities--which is to say, the cost of a transnational, middle-class way of life.'

Total Score: 515

26. São Paulo

Strongest categories: Economic clout; ease of doing business

Weakest categories: Technology readiness; health, safety, and security

Total Score: 527

25. Johannesburg

Strongest categories: Ease of doing business; cost

Weakest categories: technology readiness

Total Score: 534

24. Istanbul

Strongest categories: Cost; city gateway

Weakest categories: Intellectual capital and innovation; demographics and livability.

Note: It will be interesting to see how the country's newly-planned financial centre will affect its 2013 ranking.

Total Score: 578

23. Buenos Aires

Strongest categories: Transportation and infrastructure; cost

Weakest categories: Technology readiness; city gateway

Note: Buenos Aires is the highest-ranked South American city on the list. Surprisingly, Rio de Janeiro did not make the rankings, even though the city will host both the upcoming FIFA Word Cup and the Summer Olympics.

Total Score: 597

22. Abu Dhabi

Strongest categories: Transportation and infrastructure; health, safety, and security

Weakest categories: Technological readiness; sustainability and the natural environment

Note: Abu Dhabi fell four spots in the 2012 rankings.

Total Score: 650

21. Mexico City

Strongest categories: Ease of doing business; cost

Weakest categories: Demographics and livability; intellectual capital and innovation

Total Score: 650

20. Moscow

Strongest categories: Intellectual capital and innovation; economic clout

Weakest categories: Health, safety, and security; ease of doing business

Total Score: 712

19. Shanghai

Strongest categories: Economic clout; city gateway

Weakest categories: Ease of doing business; health, safety, and security

Total Score: 729

18. Kuala Lampur

Strongest categories: Ease of doing business; cost

Weakest categories: Intellectual capital and innovation; demographics and livability

Note: The Malaysian capital cracked the rankings for the first time.

Total Score: 761

17. Beijing

Strongest categories: Economic clout; city gateway

Weakest categories: Health, safety, and security; sustainability and the natural environment; demographics and livability.

Total Score: 769

16. Milan

Strongest categories: Intellectual capital and innovation, ease of doing business

Weakest categories: Technology readiness; city gateway

Note: The Italian city also cracked the list for the first time.

Total Score: 827

15. Madrid

Strongest categories: Intellectual capital and innovation; ease of doing business; city gateway

Weakest categories: Demographics and livability; technology readiness

Total Score: 903

14. Seoul

Strongest categories: Technology readiness; transportation and infrastructure

Weakest categories: Demographics and livability; health, safety, and security

Total Score: 915

13. Los Angeles

Strongest categories: Intellectual capital and innovation; ease of doing business

Weakest categories: Transportation and infrastructure; economic clout

Total Score: 954

12. Berlin

Strongest categories: Cost; health, safety, and security

Weakest categories: City gateway; technology readiness

Berlin notched the highest ranking in the cost and somewhat surprisingly lagged in the city gateway and technology readiness categories. Still, it moved up a spot from last year.

Total Score: 955

11. Sydney

Strongest categories: Sustainability and the natural environment; intellectual capital and innovation

Weakest categories: Cost; transportation and infrastructure

Total Score: 964

10. Tokyo

Strongest categories: Intellectual capital and innovation; ease of doing business; city gateway

Weakest categories: Sustainability and the natural environment; demographics and livability

Total Score: 974

9. Chicago

Strongest categories: Intellectual capital and innovation; health, safety, and security

Weakest categories: Economic clout

Note: Houston was the only U.S. city not to retain its spot in the rankings. The Space City fell completely out of the rankings after coming in at No. 11 last year.

Total Score: 997

8. Hong Kong

Strongest categories: Ease of doing business; city gateway

Weakest categories: Sustainability and the natural environment; health, safety, and security

In terms of ease of doing business, Hong Kong was second among the 27 countries. The city jumped up two spots from last year.

Total Score: 1,015

7. Singapore

Strongest categories: Transportation and infrastructure; ease of doing business

Weakest categories: Intellectual capital and innovation

Note: For the second year in a row, Singapore was the highest ranked city in Asia, and for the first time, the highest ranked city not in the Europe or North America. It scored the highest in transportation and infrastructure as well as ease of doing business.

Total Score: 1,045

6. San Francisco

Strongest categories: Intellectual capital and innovation; sustainability and the natural environment

Weakest categories: Cost; economic clout

Although San Francisco didn't lead the way in any of the categories, it did crack the top 10 in eight of 10 categories. The two it missed out on: cost and economic clout.

Total Score: 1,061

5. Stockholm

Strongest categories: Intellectual capital and innovation; health, safety and security

Weakest categories: City gateway

Total Score: 1,062

4. Paris

Strongest categories: Demographics and livability; city gateway

Weakest categories: Health, safety, and security; cost

Note: Paris jumped up four spots from last year.

Total Score: 1,073

3. Toronto

Strongest categories: Ease of doing business; economic clout

Weakest categories:Technology readiness; city gateway

Note: The only Canadian city on the list, Toronto fell a spot since last year.

Total Score: 1,096

2. London

Strongest categories: Ease of doing business; intellectual capital and innovation; city gateway

Weakest categories: Techonology readiness; sustainability and the natural environment

Total Score: 1,111

1. New York

Strongest categories: Intellectual capital and innovation; ease of doing business; city gateway

Weakest categories: Cost; demographics and livability

Total Score: 1,112

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