Innovation accolade for Auckland

We're moving forward except for transport

WILLIAM MACE
Last updated 12:49 21/03/2013

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Auckland has been named the fifth-most innovative city in the Asia Pacific region, based on a report from business development consultancy Solidiance.

The company's two-year research project focused on indicators of technology, talent and tolerance in 16 major cities across the region from Mumbai to Melbourne.

Auckland was the only New Zealand city included in the study but benefited from governmental stability and the nation's reputation for the ease of doing business here.

Singapore topped the list of most innovative cities, followed by Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong and Auckland.

Tokyo, Seoul, Osaka, Pusan and Taipei filled out the top ten cities, while Indian cities Mumbai and New Delhi brought up the rear.

The report said Auckland ranked highly in several quality-of-life surveys, which reflected the human talent the city was able to attract.

"Auckland's society has a remarkably tolerant and open attitude, which in turn attracts immigrants and the highly creative," the report says.

"Ease of doing business encourages foreigners to settle in Auckland and the city has also stepped up its education standards."

Auckland had the second-highest percentage of migrants in its population - 22.4 per cent - topped only by Singapore with 40.7 per cent.

However the study's authors said poor public transport infrastructure was holding back the city's liveability.

Auckland ranked first in environmental sustainability and ease of starting a business categories, and lagged only Sydney and Melbourne in the quality of life stakes.

The city took first rank in "business freedom" ahead Hong Kong and Singapore, and also was top of the class for its property rights framework and low level of corruption.

However Auckland ranked eighth in the ease of access to capital category, 10th in terms of Gross Domestic Product per capita, and eighth for research and development expenditure per capita.

The study was conducted through raw data research and interviews with Asia Pacific city leaders, including mayors, entrepreneurs, artists, activists, political leaders, non-governmental organisations and academics.

Solidiance managing partner for Asia Damien Duhamel said comparing the "innovativeness" of countries was not helpful when cities were where day-to-day life was played out.

"Competition is no longer at a country level but rather, at a city level," he said.

"This refers to competition for the best things: jobs, talent, education, lifestyle, R&D, business environment, sustainable urban hub, etcetera.

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"Every city's authorities need well-defined strategies to offer an ecosystem that will attract only the best entities."

- BusinessDay.co.nz

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