Saturday, September 5, 2009

Can Mumbai, Bangalore emerge as the global capitals?

The Russian capital as well as Indian cities of Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad have every chance of becoming global capitals on par with cities such as New York, London and Tokyo, according to the latest issue of Forbes magazine.

The influential publication assessed the rapidly changing forces driving the global economy, such as the inflow of capital and labour resources, and the pace of infrastructure development, and looked into the future, ranking the Russian capital alongside Shanghai, Beijing, Sao Paolo, Dubai and the Indian cities of Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

"Fifteen years ago, Moscow was in the midst of a particularly grungy interlude, filled with stolid people waiting in lines for shoddy consumer goods. Today, its hotel accommodations - cheap if dinghy a quarter century ago - are among the world's most expensive.

Russia's huge energy industry, which dominates all of Europe, is the key factor driving the transformation," Forbes wrote.

The article, published Wednesday, notes that Moscow has had a radical makeover since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The city, where Moscow State University was the tallest building at 240 meters (787 feet), now has a host of skyscrapers including the three tallest buildings in Europe, the highest of which is still under construction.

"With a population of 10 million, Moscow is already Europe's most populous city and could get bigger yet, particularly if energy prices rise," the magazine said.

Although Forbes expects most global capitals of the future to be outside the Western Hemisphere, it includes Calgary in Canada, Perth in Western Australia and the Texan pair of Houston and Dallas in its list.

But the article does recognise that the current centers of financial and political influence - such as Tokyo, New York, London, Paris, Seoul, Singapore and Hong Kong - will not fade into the background for some time to come.

Agencies

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