London won't dominate forever: These are the top five international finance centres of the future
Every market's success depends on financial stability, infrastructure development, taxation and economic strength. At the moment, western cities such as New York and London dominate as international financial centres, but increasingly hotspots are emerging in the developing world and catching the attention of investors.
While these markets can currently prove challenging in many ways, as they are immature and often gripped by political tensions, they offer great opportunities as long as well-researched decisions are made and realistic strategies are in place.
In many emerging markets, we are seeing the young, dynamic populations entering the workforce. These talented, ambitious workers are driving innovation. Where there is innovation and determination there is opportunity for success.
I expect that we will witness the continued growth of the following five locations over the coming years, as they undergo infrastructural and technological developments and become increasingly attractive to international financial corporations that are looking for new opportunities.
Dubai is the biggest financial hub in the Middle East, but not yet in the world. Home to international powerhouses such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, the city is becoming an increasingly influential player in global finance. Its enticing tax laws, stable banking system, and favourable business environment are putting it on the map.
Neighbouring Doha is also steadily growing its reputation as a financial hub. As oil prices fluctuate, both UAE and Qatari leaders are focusing on diversifying their economies in a move away from dependence on the oil and gas sector. As a result, the financial sector is moving into the spotlight, to attract international investment into the Middle East.
This is the Philippines’ most important central business district. I believe in the coming years it will become a globally recognised financial hotspot. It is home to headquarters of the country’s largest banks, and the main trading floor of the Philippine Stock Exchange. Furthermore, the city boasts the highest concentration of local and multinational companies, and major banks in the Makati Central Business District (CBD).
4. Mexico City
In 2014, Mexico City, Mexico’s most important financial centre, had 62 greenfield investment projects in progress, valued at $2,243m. We have seen rapid urbanisation into Mexico’s major cities, and as the country’s focus shifts from agriculture to industry, Mexico City's financial centre is set to benefit big time. It already boasts an international stock exchange, and attracts a growing number of foreign property investors, who value Mexico’s proximity to the United States.
This major commercial, industrial and financial hub in the south of Bangladesh is developing fast. The Chittagong Stock Exchange has more than 700 listed companies, while the city itself is home to a number of Bangladesh’s largest corporations. Its strategic location in close proximity to Myanmar and India makes Chittagong an interesting consideration for international financial service providers. Furthermore, the proposal to build road connectivity from Chittagong to Kunming, Southwest China, via Cox’s Bazar and Myanmar, will create an economic corridor to strengthen infrastructure in the region.