The Hub Vision
The Seoul Metropolitan Government is committed to enhancing Seoul’s competitiveness and attractiveness as the world’s leading business city. This commitment is showing results.
- The November/December 2008 issue of Foreign Policy magazine ranked Seoul as the world’s ninth leading global city, ahead of Sydney, Shanghai, Beijing, Osaka, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam. In cooperation with A.T. Kearney and The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Foreign Policy magazine produced this list of the top global cities. The level of business activities of Seoul was ranked the world’s seventh, ahead of Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco.
- In its 2008 edition of the Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index, Master Card ranked Seoul as the ninth most influential city in the global economy. This places Seoul within the ranks of the world’s financial capitals such as New York, Tokyo, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Paris in the top 10 index.
The Foreign Policy magazine’s 2008 Global City Index ranked Seoul as the world’s fifth leading city in information exchange capability, ahead of Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Los Angeles. In fact, Seoul is one of the world’s best wired and unwired cities. The city’s leading hotels provide some of the world’s lowest-priced and fastest-speed Internet connections in guest rooms. The city is fully covered by optical fiber networks. Super-high-speed fully-mobile Internet connections are available everywhere in the city, both above and under ground. Digital Media Broadcasting allows citizens to watch TV in running cars and subway trains.
More than 40% of Seoul residents hold a bachelor’s degree or above, while 54 universities in Seoul confer master’s and doctoral degrees to 35,000 students annually. In addition, there are 75,000 researchers working in 2,466 research institutes (69 affiliated with universities and 2,937 with businesses) in Seoul. Through the city’s abundant academic and research facilities, Seoul is making diverse efforts to nurture high caliber human resources. Many universities are offering MBA courses in which English is the only language spoken during lectures to develop highly skilled manpower for international exchanges in the areas of management and finance.
Seoul leads science and technology development in Korea – a country whose overall national science and technology capacity was ranked the world’s number 12th, ahead of France and Belgium in the 2008 OECD data. That made Korea Asia’s number two after Japan. And, Korea’s global rank for national science and technology capacity is expected to improve further, as Korea’s R&D investment per GDP was the world’s third highest in the same 2008 OECD data set.
With the second decade of the 21st century approaching, Seoul is determined to lead Korea in positioning itself as a leader of the world’s most dynamic region.
In 2005 and again in 2007, Goldman Sachs forecasted that Korea would become the world’s third best economy after the US and Japan by 2025, and then takeover Japan as the number two by 2050. Goldman Sachs’ Global Economics Reports highlighted that Korea’s “growth supportive fundamentals” can make this possible. There is little doubt that Seoul offers many of those fundamentals for Korea.
Over the past several decades, Seoul has been continuously reinventing itself, redesigning and rebuilding the city neighborhoods in order to improve its aesthetic value and raise the city’s commercial value as Asia’s leading financial and business center. Seoul offers the world’s third most extensive subway system after Tokyo and Moscow.
The city offers rich heritage, popular culture, food and shopping that make the city the world’s most desired destination for Japanese, Chinese and Thai visitors, according to recent surveys. Many of Seoul’s long-time foreign residents regard Seoul as one of the most interesting and, at the same time, safest cities in the world.