Countries around the world need to devolve power to cities and be more open to foreigners if they are to benefit from new patterns of urbanization, says Razeen Sally, associate professor at the National University of Singapore in this World Economic Forum video.
Here are some more quotes from the clip, and you can watch the full video at the top of this page:
“The hundred biggest cities in the world account for about 40% of world output. We see ever tighter connections across borders through trade, through foreign investment and the movement of people. It’s these global value chains, with multinationals at the heart of them, located in and around cities, that are some of the biggest drivers of productivity, of jobs and of growth in the world economy.
On new patterns of urbanization:
Cities are the repository of the middle class around the world, and of course the middle class is increasing hugely, and of course demanding more goods and services … 90% or more of the urbanization that we are going to see in this decade and the next is going to come from outside the West, and overwhelmingly in Asia.
By the end of this decade, about 60% of the Chinese population will be living in cities – a huge transformation if you consider China was a poor and rural society only three and a half decades ago.
On today’s model cities:
Singapore and Hong Kong already figure at the top of all sorts of global indexes, so what are they getting right? To begin with, they are free ports, they have zero tariffs on imports and exports. They are fully open to foreign investment, they don’t discriminate between foreigners and locals when it comes to foreign investment. They have little red tape, so business is very easy to do.
Author: Razeen Sally is visiting associate professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore
Image: A pair of binoculars for viewing the Hong Kong skyline, June 18, 2013. REUTERS/Bobby Yip