Vietnam's largest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, rank in the bottom 20 in a list of the world's most competitive centers despite their strong economic growth, according to an Economist Intelligence Unit report.
The report, commissioned by Citigroup Inc., placed Hanoi at 104th and HCMC at 109th out of 120 cities around the world, which were selected on the basis of their size and regional economic importance. HCMC was described in the report as an "important emerging" city.
Hanoi scored 38.8 points out of a 100-point scale, slightly higher than HCMC with 36.5 points. The index was calculated based on eight categories, including economic strength, human capital, financial maturity, and environment and natural hazards.
The report said Asia's economic rise is reflected in the economic competitiveness of its cities, which dominate the "economic strength" category. All but five of the top 20 cities on this measure the most highly weighted category of the overall index are Asian.
Hanoi was ranked at 20th and HCMC at 36th in terms of "economic strength", measured based on a city's overall GDP, growth rate and relative income.
Singapore was Asia's most competitive city. It was ranked only below New York and London and right above Hong Kong in the 120-city ranking.
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