The status of London and New York as the world’s biggest financial centres probably won’t change anytime soon. But, as with anything else you can quantify, financiers want to know what’s coming next: which cities will rise from relative insignificance to wield enormous financial power. This month, to that end, CNN’s Future Finance blog released a list of nine cities they reckon will become financial centres at some hazy point in the future.
Some of the results are less surprising than others – Shanghai, for example, has managed to fill its built-from-scratch financial district, Pudong, with the offices of international companies in under 20 years. Dubai is building the world’s biggest, well, everything; little wonder they’re gunning for status as a financial centre too.
Others, however, are a little less predictable. Casablanca, the main port city of Morocco, only came 62nd out of 83 in a recent Global Financial Center Index (GFCI) report. However, when GFCI asked financial professionals to predict cities which will become more financially significant in coming years, it ranked first.
This was largely due to the city’s location, which it allows it to act as a bridge between Africa and Europe: Hicham Zegrary, director of operations and institutional affairs at the Casablanca Finance City Authority, told CNN it’s “easier to do business with African countries from Morocco”. This will become more and more useful as the economies of large African cities grow (10 are predicted to triple by 2030). The Casablanca Finance City Authority (CFCA), set up four years ago, has attracted 100 companies so far, including BNP Paribas, AIG, Clifford Chance and BCG.