Research initiative from MasterCard Worldwide -- along with Sauder prof. Maurice Levi and professor emeritus Michael Goldberg -- highlights leading cities in the global economy


Purchase, NY, June 08, 2008 - London remains the global economy’s most influential city, according to the 2008 MasterCard Worldwide Centers of Commerce Index™, an annual research initiative designed to evaluate and rank how major cities compare in performing critical functions that connect markets and commerce around the world. The future, however, appears to belong to Asia and Eastern Europe, whose cities represent the fastest rising regions within the Index. The full report is available at

Shanghai had the largest jump in overall rank – moving eight spots from 2007 to 2008 – bringing it into the top 25 of this year’s Index and demonstrating the growing importance of Asian cities to a progressively urbanized global economy. Moscow, a gateway for the fast-growing Eastern European region, showed the greatest improvement in actual Index score and had the most significant gain on London year-over-year.

Further confirming the importance of Asia and Europe in the global economy, this year’s study also marks the displacement of Los Angeles from the top 10, making New York and Chicago the sole North American cities in the top grouping. The decline of Los Angeles in rank is due, in part, to factors around its role in the global financial services network, as well as the rise of European cities in the area of knowledge creation.

“The Centers of Commerce Index is a roadmap for corporations seeking a pathway to global presence in a world where cities, instead of nations, have become the primary economic players,” said Walt Macnee, President, Global Markets, MasterCard Worldwide. “The annual study once again delivers important insights into how the urban economic landscape is shifting, and, as we approach the end of the 21st century’s first decade, the growing importance of emerging cities, especially in Asia and Eastern Europe.”

Dr. Michael Goldberg, Program Director, MasterCard Worldwide Centers of Commerce, points to Shanghai as a city on the path to global leadership.

“Shanghai, which rose in its ranking to the number 24 position this year from number 32 last year, continues to leverage its historically strong position as the financial and logistical hub to Asia. Shanghai is well positioned to assume its place among the top three cities in the world within the next 15 to 20 years,” said Goldberg.

“It’s fascinating to note that the city whose score increased the most compared with London since last year is Moscow, followed by Singapore, Tel Aviv, Bogota and Mumbai – all cities morein new or emerging markets – while no North American city advanced significantly in the Index this year,” Goldberg adds.

Key Findings

North America

New York and Chicago maintain regional primacy. The only two North American cities in the top 10 globally, both New York and Chicago benefit from strong financial markets and a strong U.S. business climate.

Vancouver is the