HK still China's most competitive city
Hong Kong retained its top slot in competitiveness for the seventh straight year in 2011, against cities on the mainland and in Taiwan, according to a study released yesterday.
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' annual exercise has given Hong Kong the highest ranking since its inclusion on the list of 294 cities in 2005.
While unveiling the rankings for last year in Beijing yesterday, Dr Ni Pengfei, a researcher at the academy's Institute of Finance and Trade Economics, said Hong Kong must improve people's livelihood and boost productivity to retain its competitive edge.
'The government should show more concern for entrepreneurship, employment and welfare - such as subsidised housing - so the people can extend their potential without worries [about livelihood],' he said.
Taipei jumped from fifth place in 2010 to second last year, while Beijing remained in third place.
Shanghai slid back into fourth from second place, while Shenzhen dropped from fourth to fifth place. The city of Hangzhou , in Zhejiang , rose from 10th to eighth.
The 10th edition of the academy's 'Blue Book on Urban Competitiveness' said the gap in competitiveness between cities was narrowing.
Hong Kong's edge in such areas as taxes and talent pool were shrinking, while high office rents hindered the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, the report said.
The city needed more emphasis on technological development, it said. Hong Kong also lacks a flexible system for recruiting talented workers from the mainland, which could undermine its competitiveness in the long run.
The talent pool has played an increasingly important role in the competitiveness of cities over the past decade, it said.
The academy's report noted that Hong Kong still had a clear competitive advantage in international finance and trade within the greater China region.
The top ten
1 Hong Kong
Source: Blue Book on Urban Competitiveness of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences