Vancouver Named a MasterCard Worldwide Center of Commerce: Ranks 28th out of 50 Cities Driving Global Commerce



    MasterCard Report Exploring Strategic Role of Cities in Driving Global
    Commerce Names three Canadian Cities as Hubs of the New Worldwide Economy

    Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal Rank 1-2-3 in Ease of Doing Business

    VANCOUVER, June 12 /CNW/ - Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto have been
named three of the world's 50 Worldwide Centers of Commerce(TM) - cities that
drive global commerce. MasterCard Worldwide today made the announcement as
part of its new groundbreaking research effort, the MasterCard Worldwide
Centers of Commerce(TM) program, designed to provide insights and knowledge on
how leading cities influence the global economy. Central to this new research
platform and unveiled today is the first annual MasterCard Worldwide Centers
of Commerce Index(TM), the most comprehensive analysis to date of how major
cities compare in performing critical functions that connect markets and
commerce globally.
    The Index, developed by a panel of leading global economists, lists and
ranks the top 50 Centers of Commerce based on six measurement dimensions
consisting of over 100 data points. It places London first, followed by New
York, Tokyo, Chicago and Hong Kong in the top five. Toronto ranked 12th and
Montreal and Vancouver ranked 27th and 28th respectively. A link to the full
report is available at www.mastercard.ca.
    "The strong performance of Canadian cities as Worldwide Centers of
Commerce reinforces how fortunate we are to live and do business here," said
Kevin Stanton, president, MasterCard Canada. "Canadian cities stand
shoulder-to-shoulder with leading global economic centres."
    As part of the overall ranking, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal ranked
first, second and third respectively as the easiest places in the world for
doing business. A strong national health care system, excellent
infrastructure, low traffic and easy access to public transportation helped
make the three cities most attractive for doing business.
    "A prerequisite for success in today's global marketplace is an in-depth
understanding of how cities are connected and how they grow," said Robert W.
Selander, president and chief executive officer, MasterCard Worldwide. "The
Worldwide Centers of Commerce program addresses this need by identifying and
providing industry-leading insights into the characteristics and commonalities
of cities that advance global commerce most."
    Complementing the Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index, MasterCard also
released today the Worldwide Centers of Commerce Insights report titled, "The
Dynamics of Global Cities and Global Commerce." The report includes
additional, in-depth expert commentary on the vital role cities play in
connecting networks to enable global commerce and is available at
mastercardworldwide.com. In the coming months, subsequent reports will be
released as part of this initiative, including a growth index that measures
the pace and scope of changes taking place within each city identified in the
Centers of Commerce Index, and an additional index that will identify and
track emerging Centers of Commerce in the developing world.
    "The trend of commerce becoming more knowledge-driven and less tangible
has actually elevated the role of today's cities, positioning them as the hubs
of complex circuits that fuel the globalized economy and provide connections
through which true global commerce takes place," said Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong,
Economic Advisor, MasterCard Worldwide. "This research provides valuable
insight into the cities that sit at the centre of global commerce as well as
the factors that are fueling commerce in each."

    
    Key Regional Findings

    -   Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver ranks first, second and third
        respectively in terms of starting a business, which reflects their
        attractiveness for setting up and starting a business. Toronto ranks
        6th and Vancouver 7th in terms of commercial real estate development,
        which is an indication of the relative straightforwardness of
        commercial real-estate development.

    -   The Canadian cities all rank within the top 30 of the Knowledge
        creation and Information Flow dimension. Out of all of the top
        50 cities, the term "Toronto" receives the eighth highest number of
        Google hits in any language. Vancouver ranks 14th and Montreal ranks
        24th in terms of their respective number of Google hits. All three
        cities rank in the top ten for broadband access per thousand people.

    -   Within the trading across borders sub index of the Legal and
        Political Framework dimension, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal tie
        for No. 5 behind Munich, which is behind the three Canadian cities on
        the overall global Legal and Political Framework dimension.

    Key Global Findings

    -   London: The world's leading Center of Commerce. With a flexible
        operating environment for business, strong global financial
        connections and exceptionally high levels of international trade,
        travel and conferences, London secures the top spot in the Centers of
        Commerce Index. The city outperforms New York in four of the six
        measurement dimensions, and scores significantly higher than other
        European cities.

    -   National economic factors, market regulations place New York behind
        London. Once considered the unchallenged financial capital of the
        world, New York cedes the Financial Flow category to London primarily
        because bond market regulations in New York affect the volume of
        listed sales. New York's score is also impacted by the less stable US
        economy and the more volatile US dollar.

    -   Finance and innovation make Chicago number two in US. The fourth-
        ranked centre of commerce globally, topping cities such as Hong Kong
        and Los Angeles, Chicago's commodities and financial markets help it
        rank high in financial flow, while its world-class institutions of
        higher education lead to high marks on innovation and knowledge
        creation.

    -   Europe's entry point for South American business, Madrid, emerges as
        a financial leader. Madrid ranks number 16 globally and sixth in
        Europe, driven largely by an exceptionally strong bond market, low
        inflation and low level of GDP and exchange rate variance.

    -   Economic divide between Eastern and Western Europe remains. The
        lowest ranking Western European city on the list, Rome, scores nearly
        equal to Budapest, the highest ranking Eastern European city, a gap
        that persists within all six dimensions.

    -   Tokyo's powerhouse economy leads to top ranking in Asia Pacific.
        Tokyo, the leader in its region and number three overall, boasts the
        Nikkei 225, the world's leading rate of patent creation and an air
        traffic hub second only to Hong Kong.

    -   Three one-time "Asian Tigers" make the top ten. Hong Kong, Singapore
        and Seoul all rank among the top 10 Centers of Commerce, with Seoul's
        higher education system and patent output helping it lead the pack in
        Knowledge Creation. Hong Kong and Singapore boast top rankings in
        Financial Flow and Business Dimension, showing the strength of their
        business climate and their prominence in the global financial
        network. Singapore also rates high for government policies that favor
        international business and trade.

    -   Strong business climate makes Dubai the Middle East leader. The
        region's air and cargo traffic hub, Dubai, also claims a flexible
        business climate that makes it optimal for growing companies.

    -   Latin America is increasingly becoming more global and competitive.
        Three cities from Latin America placing among the world's top
        50 Worldwide Centers of Commerce is a strong statement of how the
        region continues to elevate its role in the global economy.
    

    Methodology

    The Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index is compiled from research by a
panel of eight independent economic, urban development and social-science
experts from leading academic and research institutions around the world, led
by Dr. Hedrick-Wong. To form the index, the panel first identified 63 cities
around the world that met their initial criteria.

    
    Cities were then rated on the six dimensions:

    -   Legal and political framework

    -   Economic stability

    -   Ease of doing business

    -   Financial flow

    -   Business center

    -   Knowledge creation/information flow
    

    This entailed measuring a number of equally weighted, relevant indicators
and sub-indicators that aggregate available data on region-specific
procedures, costs and ratings, as well as criteria related to quality of life,
access to technology, city livability, logistics and knowledge creations and
creativity. In total, over a period of four months, the panel evaluated six
dimensions, 41 indicators and more than 100 sub-indicators to derive an Index
ranking for each city, a process that exceeds traditional measures used to
gauge worldwide financial and business activity.

    About the Worldwide Centers of Commerce Research Team

    Leading the Worldwide Centers of Commerce program is Dr. Yuwa
Hedrick-Wong, Economic Advisor, Asia/Pacific, MasterCard Worldwide. With more
than 25 years experience as an economist, business strategist and writer,
Hedrick-Wong is one of the foremost experts on Asian economic trends and has
counseled senior executives and board members at more than 50 global
companies. To assist him in this research, Hedrick-Wong assembled a panel of
leading experts in economics, urban development and social-science from around
the world, including:

    
    -   Professor Fan Gang, Director, National Economic Research Institute,
        Beijing

    -   Manu Bhaskaran, Partner/Head, Economic Research, Centennial Group,
        Singapore

    -   Dr. Michael Goldberg, Professor Emeritus, Sauder School of Business,
        University of British Columbia

    -   Professor William Lever, Emeritus Professor of Urban Studies,
        University of Glasgow

    -   Professor Maurice D. Levi, Bank of Montreal Professor of
        International Finance, University of British Columbia

    -   Dr. Anthony Pellegrini, Partner/Director of the Urban and
        Infrastructure Policy and Finance Practice, Centennial Group,
        Washington, DC

    -   Dr. Saskia Sassen, Ralph Lewis Professor of Sociology, University of
        Chicago and Centennial Visiting Professor, London School of Economics

    -   Professor Peter J. Taylor, Co-Director, Globalization and World
        Cities Research Group and Network, Loughborough University, UK
    

    About MasterCard Worldwide

    MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical
economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and
merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard
develops and markets payment solutions, processes over 16 billion transactions
each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to
financial institution customers and merchants. Through its family of brands,
including MasterCard(R), Maestro(R) and Cirrus(R), MasterCard serves consumers
and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more
information go to www.mastercard.com.





For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Don Blair, (416) 969-2726,
dblair@environicspr.com; Jill Anzarut, (416) 969-2708,
janzarut@environicspr.com

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