Feng Zengkun – Straits Times
Singapore. Singapore has been named the top city brand in the Asia-Pacific region in a new survey, beating 15 other cities such as Seoul, Tokyo and Beijing.
This means it is the most attractive to investors and tourists, based on the first-ever survey by public policy and corporate affairs network Public Affairs Asia and the Ogilvy public relations agency. Some 300 communications and corporate affairs professionals in the region completed the online survey between June and August. More than half the respondents were in senior management.
They ranked Singapore first among cities in the region for its low taxes, cleanliness, safety and political stability. As for tourism, they felt the arts, culture, food and heritage were important.
The report said the “legendary Southeast Asian state is popular among business and tourists attracted by its combination of Asian flair fused with Western-style services and values”.
But it added that some criticized the country for its limited press freedom and conservatism.
M. Loganathan, 52, a member of the NTUC Tour Guides Chapter, a group of 300 licensed guides formed in July last year, said while he agrees Singapore has much to offer, the country faced a severe shortage of hotel rooms.
This might work against it as a top tourist destination in Asia.
Joseph Baladi, 53, chief executive of brand consulting firm BrandAsian, said Singapore is attractive to investors because of its discipline: “The judicial system is dependable and reliable, its financial and taxation conditions are ideal, and language is English.”
“Singapore is very much a destination for business, and it should stay the course. Any deviation would not be desirable.”
Out of the 16 rated cities, Hong Kong and Sydney came in second and third, while Jakarta and Manila round out the bottom of the city rankings.
Reprinted courtesy of The Straits Times