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Indian cities to grow the fastest in Asia

Financial and business services projected to be the fastest growing sector

Melissa Cheok | Bloomberg 


will have the fastest of any city in Asia, with the economy to be almost 50 per cent larger in 2021 than it was at the end of last year.

are set to expand the most across the region, with speeding up from the past five years, according to a new study from Oxford Economics, which ranked Asia’s 30 largest With financial and projected to be the fastest growing sector in India, Delhi’s dominance in this industry will lead to higher and higher incomes.

“Limits on foreign ownership of Indian companies are gradually being reduced or eliminated,” wrote Mark Britton, lead economist on the report. “In the short term this is conducive to strong in Delhi’s professional services sector, as overseas investors seek advice on possible deals, while long term it should mean steady income streams for such businesses.”

Consumer companies such as Japan’s Muji are also betting on that change. Parent company Ryohin Keikaku Co sees becoming its second largest international market, after And’s Indian unit is seeking approval to invest in a food supply chain and take advantage of government moves to ease rules on foreign retailers. 

China’s expansion will slow, although the largest five will still be recording rates of 6 per cent or more. 

There will be a slight slowdown across the region amid moderating import demand from China, with expected to average 4.2 per cent per year over the five years to 2021, down from 4.5 per cent in 2012-2016. 

Even so, that’s still much faster than the developed economies and in the region — and that’s a big opportunity for companies. plans to almost double the number of stores it has in mainland by 2021, and McDonald’s plans to add 2,000 new restaurants over the same period. Both companies recently announced they were buying out their partners in Mainland and taking control of operations. 

However, there are significant differences across the region.

Japanese are likely to remain at the bottom amid a challenging demographic outlook, with last in the rankings as its working-age population falls by approximately 1 per cent per year, the report said.

is forecast to clock the fastest in China, given that it has a large base and one of the nation's busiest ports. However, as the services sector expands, the and shipping industries may prove to be less supportive in future.

was the only non-Indian city in the top five, reflecting the city’s success in establishing itself as a center, as well as its strong services sector.