Seoul City announced on March 21 that the city had been ranked 16th, the highest ranking it has ever achieved, in the latest survey of the Global Financial Center Index (GFCI).
The GFCI, which is compiled by the British consulting group Z/Yen, is a representative index of international financial industry competitiveness among major international cities.
Seoul City ranked 24th in the previous GFCI rankings announced last September, having posted a rise for three consecutive years. In the latest survey, Seoul jumped eight notches to 16th, setting a new record in the rankings. Notably, Seoul was again singled out as one of the “Top 3 cities (Shanghai, Singapore, Seoul) with a strong chance of becoming a financial hub in the future,” following its selection last year. The city also made the list of the “Top 4 cities (Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Seoul) where major financial institutions will likely consider establishing a subsidiary” in several years’ time.
Seoul City attributes the city’s rise in the GFCI rankings for four consecutive years to its “financial hub initiative,” which the city has continued to aggressively implement, and to the success of its “customized targeting and PR marketing” of foreign financiers and bankers.
Seoul City has made strenuous efforts to expand the infrastructure for foreign financiers and bankers, including the construction of the Seoul International Financial Center and the establishment of Seoul Global Business Support Center, as part of a campaign to cultivate the Yeouido financial center.
The city has also continued enhancing the convenience of foreign residents, particularly in the areas of education, medical care and residential conditions, in order to create a living environment that lives up to its profile as an international financial city.
Currently, Seoul City operates 17 foreigner assistance centers (1 Global Center, 7 Villages, 1 Business, 1 Cultural Exchange, and 7 for Workers) in areas with significant numbers of foreign inhabitants, and has attracted quality foreign schools, including Dulwich College Seoul, to create a good educational environment for foreign residents.