|A view of Seoul's financial district of Yeouido. / gettyimagesbank|
By Kim Bo-eun
Seoul's ranking as a financial center jumped to 25th out of 110 cities, from the previous 33rd out of 108 centers according to the London-based think tank Z/Yen's latest publication, Friday. Z/Yen attributed the COVID-19 situation in various regions as an important factor in determining the rankings.
Z/Yen's Global Financial Centers Index, regarded as the top source for ranking financial centers, is published twice a year. Z/Yen's previous ranking was published in March.
The index evaluates cities on their business environment, human capital, infrastructure, financial sector development and other factors through surveys. Mike Wardle, Z/Yen Group's Head of Indices, referred to Seoul as a "global diversified center" that is "well-connected across the world." Busan ranked 40, up from 51 in March.
New York led the index, followed by London, Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Other Asian cities in the top 10 ranking were Singapore (6), Beijing (7) and Shenzhen (9).
Seoul was also included in the list of 15 centers likely to become more significant, along with Qingdao, Shanghai, Singapore and Beijing. In addition, Seoul was included in the top 35 fintech centers, ranking 18th.
The achievement is in accordance with President Moon Jae-in and his administration's better-than-expected management in terms of minimizing the aggregated impact of the virus spread on the Korean economy without taking draconian measures. This is attributed to several factors including transparency, robust screening and quarantine as well as testing.
In the OCED's most recent projections, Korea's GDP is forecast to contract by only 1 percent. This ranks the country as the second-best performer among major economies after China.