Joburg ranked as one of the most economically powerful cities in the world

A new report ranks Johannesburg as the 33rd most economically powerful city in the world, and the number one city in Africa.

The 2015 edition of the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) ranked London, ahead of New York, with both cities some distance ahead of third placed city, Hong Kong.

GFCI ranks the world’s 84 leading financial cities based on a survey of nearly 3,200 financial services professionals, while also using data from the World Economic Forum, UN, and additional sources. 105 factors were used in GFCI 18.

Many factors combine to make a financial centre competitive, said the report’s author, Mark Yeandle.

He said that the report grouped those factors into five broad areas of competitiveness: Business Environment, Financial Sector Development, Infrastructure, Human Capital and Reputational & General Factors.

GFCI 18 Ranks and Ratings

# City Rating
1 London 796
2 New York 788
3 Hong Kong 755
4 Singapore 750
5 Tokyo 725
6 Seoul 724
7 Zurich 715
8 Toronto 714
9 San Francisco 712
10 Washington DC 711

Johannesburg is the highest ranked city in Africa, with 669 points, ahead of Casablanca, Morocco (44th), and Mauritius (64th) the only other African countries on the list.

Johannesburg is ahead of the likes of Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Amsterdam, Moscow and Munich.

Western European centres show signs of recovery.The leading three centres in Europe are London, Zurich and Geneva. Frankfurt moved up into fourth place just ahead of Luxembourg.

Of the 29 centres in this region, 23 centres rose in the ratings with Dublin doing particularly well. Liechtenstein appears in the GFCI for the first time and is ranked 60th. Reykjavik continues to reverse some of its recent decline.

The leading centre in Eastern Europe is now Warsaw in 38th place, just ahead of Istanbul. The top seven centres all saw an increase in their ratings but the largest decline in this region was St Petersburg.

With the exception of Hong Kong and Singapore, the top Asia/Pacific financial centres have all seen their ratings increase in GFCI 18.

All North American centres are up in the ratings, with Toronto the leading Canadian centre, and behind only New York in the region.

Sao Paulo remains the top Latin American centre in GFCI 18, and along with Rio de Janeiro, made significant progress in the ratings and rankings. Mexico was the only centre that fell in the GFCI ratings. The Cayman Islands and the Bahamas also showed good improvements.

All Middle Eastern and African centres, except Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, showed gains. Dubai made strong gains after a fall in GFCI 17. Doha rose in the ratings but fell a couple of places in the ranks.

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Joburg ranked as one of the most economically powerful cities in the world