Busan takes quantum jump in global prestige
The International Finance Center in Nam-gu.
During his inaugural address in July 2022, Busan Mayor Park Heong-joon expressed his ambition "to build Busan into a global hub city that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Singapore and Hong Kong."
A year later, Mayor Park's vision is coming to fruition.
The city's reputation is skyrocketing up rankings published by esteemed institutes. The first comes from London-based commercial think tank Z/Yen, whose biannual Smart Centre Index "rates the innovation and technology offerings of leading commercial centres, tracking their ability to create, develop and deploy technology."
In the seventh edition of the SCI, released on May 25, 2023, Busan ranks 19th out of 77 cities worldwide; it is also one of three Asian cities, along with Singapore (6th) and Hong Kong (10th), to rank in the top 20. Busan's standing is the highest it has ever been, and for the first time ranks higher than both Tokyo (22nd) and Seoul (28th). It is the second-consecutive year that Busan has placed higher than the nation's capital.
The rankings are created by a combination of quantitative data from leading institutions, such as the World Bank, the OECD and the United Nations, along with assessments given by business and finance experts. Busan has steadily climbed up the rankings since debuting at no. 62 on the third SCI in June 2021.
The city received its second honor from the Economist Intelligence Unit, which released The Global Liveability Index 2023 on June 21.
Busan ranked an impressive 6th among Asian cities on the liveability index, which evaluates cities worldwide based on the challenges individuals face in their daily lives and the overall quality of life they experience.
The EIU, an economic and political analysis agency and sister organization to The Economist, has published the annual report for the last 70 years. The report assesses and ranks 173 cities across five categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. Some of the factors considered in the rankings include access to healthcare, quality of education, and access to cultural and sporting events.
In 2022, Busan's comprehensive score was in the 70s; this year, after making gains in stability, medical care and education, the city scored nearly 90 points, propelling its rise up the rankings.
In Asia, the top-ranked city is Osaka, followed by Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong and Seoul.
Busan's standings in the SCI and the liveability index reflect the city's commitment to giving residents the best living conditions and to creating a modern and dynamic economy.