Bangalore, Singapore, and Shenzhen lead a list of top locations for high tech companies to set up shop in Asia, according to a report released this week by property consultancy Colliers International.
The trio of cities representing mainland China, Southeast Asian and the subcontinent ranked atop a list of 16 locations studied by the Toronto-based company.
Focusing on securing the resources needed for building an innovation enterprise the study gave Bangalore, Singapore and Shenzhen top marks for providing the socio-economic, human capital and real estate attributes necessary for tech bosses hoping to become the next Steve Jobs of Asia.
“Bangalore scores highly on long-run growth and low costs; Singapore scores highly as a talent source and on aspirational metrics; Shenzhen ranks well on property measures,” Andrew Haskins, Colliers’ Asia Head of Research noted in the report.
India’s Bangalore Ranked Top Target for Tech Expansion
Already the home of Indian giant Infosys and a major centre for multinational software firms, Bangalore in southern India won top marks thanks to its depth of available engineering talent, low costs and an ample supply of 141 million square feet (13.1 million square metres) of grade A office space.
The capital of the Indian state of Karnataka has already won recognition for its tech-friendliness elsewhere after being named the world’s most dynamic city at the 2017 World Economic Forum.
Formerly known as a software factory, in recent years Bangalore has grown into an innovation hub where local startups competed to attract foreign capital and venture investment.
Singapore Boosted by Talent Pool
Singapore’s top scores for talent and socio-economic factors such as long-term growth prospects, political stability and business operating conditions, as well as for demographic aspects such as age of the workforce and availability of transportation.
The study’s authors noted that Singapore scores highly for “aspirational measures” such as safety, quality of life, air purity and what they call a “High-Tech City” metric.
The city-state has already become a hub for international tech firms such as Facebook, which recently announced plans to build a 170,000-square-metre data centre in the city’s Jurong East area, close to Google’s two data centres in Jurong West.
Shenzhen Held Back by Lack of Top Schools
Mainland China’s top ranking city in the study is Shenzhen, the headquarters of large technology enterprises including Tencent and Huawei. As the gateway between Mainland China and Hong Kong, the city in Guangdong province has seen its GDP grow average nearly eight percent year-on-year, outpacing the national average.
Tech-related businesses in the city, according to Shenzhen government figures, achieved a 13.6 percent growth annually, leading the development of the tech sector across China.
The Colliers study noted Shenzhen’s strong supply of grade A office space, and relatively high vacancy rate of 13.6 percent at the end of June this year as ensuring that technology companies could secure adequate access to affordable offices in the city. The city suffered, however, on talent and socio-economic considerations, mainly due to the lack of premium education resources.
Hong Kong Takes 8th Place
The cities included in the study were gauged on three dimensions, namely socio-economic factors, property factors, and human factors. Human factors mainly focused on the availability of professional talent in certain cities, while socio-economic factors involved political stability, corporate tax rates, urban infrastructure and other factors.
Among the 16 cities, Hong Kong ranked the eighth, but was given a nod for its potential to improve. Although technology companies currently occupy less than six percent of Grade A office space in the city, according to Colliers, its proximity to south China as well as some recent expansion by tech firms and a strong potential for fintech applications are seen as giving it a chance to pick up its game.
Filling out the rest of the top ten-ranked cities wer Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Hyderabad, Hong Kong, Manila, and Mumbai respectively.