Every market, regardless of the country, faces obstacles, dependent on financial stability, infrastructure development, taxation and economic strength. Western cities, such as New York and London, dominate as international financial centers.
However, emerging hotspots in the developing world are catching the attention of investors.
Global real estate platform Lamudi, active in 34 emerging markets in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, explores the up-and-coming financial centers of tomorrow.
Dubai is an emerging financial hub in the Middle East. Home to international powerhouses such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, the city is an increasingly influential player in global finance. Dubai is putting itself on the map due to its enticing tax laws, stable banking system, and favorable business environment.
Neighboring Doha is also steadily growing its reputation as a financial hub. As oil prices fluctuate, both UAE and Qatari leaders are focusing on diversifying local economies in a move away from dependence on the oil and gas sector. As a result, the financial sector is moving into the spotlight, to attract international investment into the Middle East.
As the Philippines’ most important central business district, Makati is becoming an increasingly important financial hotspot. It is home to headquarters of the country’s largest banks, and the main trading floor of the Philippine Stock Exchange. Furthermore, the city boasts the highest concentration of local and multinational companies, and major banks in the Makati Central Business District (CBD).
In 2014, Mexico City, Mexico’s most important financial center, had 62 greenfield investment projects underway, valued at $2,243 million. Like with many other fast-growing cities, rapid urbanization has occurred, as Mexico’s focus has shifted from agriculture to industry. The capital city now boasts an international stock exchange, and attracts a growing number of foreign property investors, who benefit from Mexico’s proximity to the United States.
Chittagong, a major commercial, industrial and financial hub in the south of Bangladesh, is developing into an international financial center. The Chittagong Stock Exchange has more than 700 listed companies, while the city itself is home to a number of Bangladesh’s largest corporations. Its strategic location in close proximity to Myanmar and India, makes Chittagong an interesting consideration for international financial service providers. Furthermore, a proposal to build road connectivity from Chittagong to Kunming, Southwest China, via Cox’s Bazar and Myanmar, will create an economic corridor to strengthen infrastructure in the region.
Kian Moini, co-founder and managing director of Lamudi, commented: “The emerging markets are home to a number of growing hotspots for financial centers. Whilst there are challenges that must be taken into account, including immature markets and political challenges, when strategizing a move into an emerging market, vast opportunities are being created - as long as strongly researched decisions are made and realistic strategies are in place.”
Young, dynamic populations are entering the workforce, with an increasing number of talented, ambitious workers driving innovation. As emerging market hotspots undergo infrastructural and technological developments, they are becoming increasingly attractive to international financial corporations, looking for new opportunities.