In the inaugural Brand Finance City Index, Singapore has showcased its remarkable performance by securing the 6th position among ASEAN nations. Trailing closely behind, we find Bangkok at the 47th spot, Kuala Lumpur at 53rd, Jakarta at 70th, Manila at 82nd, and Hanoi at 94th. This comprehensive index, conducted by brand evaluation consultancy Brand Finance, involved a global survey in April 2023 that engaged nearly 15,000 participants from 20 countries across all continents. The primary objective of the survey was to gauge public perceptions of the top 100 cities worldwide. Notably, London claimed the leading position as the world’s top city brand, followed by New York and Paris.
Within the index, Singapore stands out as the premier ASEAN city brand, securing an impressive 6th global ranking. Its excellence spans across various dimensions, as it ranks 5th for local work, 6th for remote work, and 5th for investments on a global scale.
Singapore’s government places significant emphasis on education and training, resulting in a highly skilled and educated workforce across diverse industries. Additionally, Singapore’s strategic location as the gateway to the vibrant Asia-Pacific region makes it an enticing destination for businesses and investors seeking to capitalize on the region’s immense potential. Moreover, Singapore proudly holds the top spot for being a clean and environmentally conscious city, enforcing stringent laws and regulations while instilling a sense of environmental responsibility through public education initiatives from an early age.
To offer a comprehensive assessment of the city brands featured in the index, respondents were queried on various aspects, including familiarity, general reputation, and personal considerations related to living, working locally and remotely, studying, retiring, visiting, and investing in each city.
These preferences were further evaluated by considering perceptions of 45 specific attributes associated with city brands, which were categorized into seven pillars, including Business & Investment or Sustainability & Transport.
Singapore’s outstanding performance in the dimensions of work, study, and visit has contributed to its strong familiarity, securing the 11th position globally. Following closely behind is Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, ranking 16th. Although Bangkok holds an overall rank of 47th, it excels in the tourism industry within the Asia-Pacific region and performs exceptionally well in the People and Values pillar, ranking 9th for being fun and 10th for being friendly. Kuala Lumpur, positioned at 53rd overall, also demonstrates commendable performance, particularly in the field of business and trade, securing the 46th position.
Jakarta, although placed lower in the ranking at 70, benefits from its strong performance in the 43rd position for business and trade, which positively impacts its overall evaluation.
Furthermore, Manila, the capital of the Philippines, secures the 82nd position within the index. Manila, along with Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, is recognized for being an affordable city, ranking an impressive 19th in this aspect.
These cities are known for their lower cost of living, affordable transportation options, budget-friendly attractions, and inexpensive accommodations, making them appealing to young people and tourists from Western nations. Additionally, it’s worth noting that Hanoi, despite its overall ranking of 94th, shows promising progress in the business and trade pillar, securing the 74th position. Hanoi is emerging as a city of interest, particularly in terms of attracting Western tourists.
Alex Haigh, Managing Director of Brand Finance Asia, said: “With their diverse cultures, growing economies, and innovative urban landscapes, ASEAN cities are beacons of progress, fostering connectivity, sustainability, and resilience at their core of their city brands. Singapore’s world-class infrastructure and investment opportunities position it as a global leader, setting the pace for economic progress. Additionally, the surge in tourism has become a catalyst, propelling economic growth throughout the entire region.”