Global cities, according to Taylor (2013), are international as well as national political power centers. Such cities are also centers for national and international trade; in which they act as key hubs not just for their host nations but for other countries as well. These cities are also home to professional activities, consumption, information, entertainment, culture, mass communication and the service industry. In this sense, therefore, a global city is that which economic and political institutions have an increased share of focus. This means that such cities are capable of creating significant solutions to other global regions. Such cities have headquarters of main global as we well as multinational companies, political institutions, and international financial institutions, global stock exchanges, global trade fairs and so forth.
Frankfurt City is a hub of culture, commerce, tourism, education and web traffic. Messe Frankfurt, for instance, is reportedly the largest trade fair globally with a size of 578,000 m2 as well as a sum of ten halls for exhibition. The city has other trade fairs; among them the Frankfurt Motor Show, which happens to be the biggest motor show worldwide. There is also the Frankfurt Book fair, which, according to Beaverstock & Taylor (2010), is the largest book fair globally. Frankfurt City also hosts a number of different educational as well as cultural entities. These include the Johann Wolfgang University, and the Schirn Kunsthalle museum. Correspondingly, these are the features and facilities that make Frankfurt City a center for cultural and educational and business events in the region. There is considerable business investment by foreign companies in Frankfurt. The services sector is the main focus for most of the companies registered and operational in Frankfurt. A majority of those businesses are American.
Frankfurt is a global economic hub. With the ECB headquarters located there, it is a center of EU business as well. It has enabled the city to undergo development of new buildings which house the EU economic activities in tandem with the old buildings. As a host of the ECB, there are top global professionals who have moved to the city and call it home as they pursue their careers and go about their lives. The citys location is also key in that it is between Paris, Amsterdam, London and Milan. This centrality means that is in close proximity to the 4 key business hubs in Europe.
Barcelona is the Catalonian capital, and is Spains second largest city. It is a coastal town located in the Northeastern part of Spain. It has a population of more than 5 million (Rodriguez, 2014). Barcelona is a center for global business in that other countries such as Germany contribute 21% capital investments with the US accounting for 20% investments. The key investment areas are sectors like design, mobility, biotechnology, medicine and life science. These are the areas that German firms invest in. American firms, on the other hand, invest mainly in ICT. Additionally, French companies invest in tourism, logistics, media, creative industries, and energy sectors. Barcelona is an automotive city with Nissan and SEAT among the car manufacturing companies located there. The automotive industry contributes 10% of the citys GDP.
Unlike Frankfurt, however, Barcelona is not a headquarter of any EU or UN organization. Even so, it attracts professionals and tourisms from all over the world who converge on the coastal city and uplifts it economically, in terms of industry, entertainment, culture (with several museums and tourist sites there), and industry. Being the Catalonian capital, the city is a political hub, and is of great significance to Catalonians. The city is very accessible in terms of transport infrastructure; airports, railways and being a port city. It also hosts the annual mobile world congress in which global players in mobile technology converge to discuss innovation, and showcase new innovations in the mobile industry. It is an event that attracts companies such as Samsung of South Korea, LG, Sony, Apple, Facebook, HTC, and many more globally.
Whenever Singapore is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is that it is an Asian Tiger. The citys rise and growth has been so rapid and robust that it has attracted everyones attention globally. Singapore happens to be the only city in the Republic of Singapore. It has no competition from other local cities unlike Frankfurt and Barcelona. As such, Singapore is both an administrative center, a commercial center, a financial hub and a political hub for the country. The city became the 4th international Finance center after London, New York, and Hong Kong in 2014. This underlines its importance to the financial world as compared to Barcelona, and Frankfurt. With a population of 5.51 million well within the ranges of Barcelona that has 5 million, it is a big city which is cosmopolitan; with 74.2% being Chinese, 13.3% Malay, and 9.2% Indian (MarketLine, 2015). It is also an international port.
Singapore attracts a lot of foreign direct investments. It is the 5th in the world in terms of FDI recipients. This underlines its attractiveness as far as commerce and trade is concerned. Being an international finance center, it attracts professionals from around the globe. Thus, just like Frankfurt and Barcelona, it is a professional hub as well as a tourist hub.
Vancouver is a Canadian city located in British Columbia. The city acted as meeting point for trade and settlement for thousands of years. European settlement happened in 1862 following exploration by the Spanish in 1791 and the British in 1792 (Cheadle and Chris). The Chinese also came later. The City attracts professionals in areas such as lumbering, ICT, mining, and education. It is home to international universities. The city is also 8th in the list of FDI attractiveness. It is a communications hub and a global city as such; just like the other three cities mentioned above. Even so, it pales in comparison in terms of the significance and its location.
Comparison in terms of Global Commodity Chains and Global Production Networks
Transnational spatial relationships play key roles in the development and growth of all the 4 cities discussed above. In this sense, the focus is on interconnected operations, functions and transactions where specific commodities are made, distributed and consumed globally from these cities. Accordingly, Nissan motor company has set up shop in Barcelonas industrial area for years. The vehicles that are manufactured in this city are consumed not just in Spain but within the EU and the rest of the region. This underlines Barcelonas stature as a city that is big in terms of global commodity chains. Vancouver is a lumbering, mining, ICT, and transport hub. Multinationals in these sectors have regional offices and plants in Vancouver. This means that not only does the city act as a manufacturing center, it also acts as a distribution center with production networks extending to Asia and Europe.
Singapore, without any shred of doubt, is a world player in terms of financial services and export of commodities. As a giant center in Asia, it serves Africa, India, and other East Asian countries not just in commodity distribution but in services as well. Its cosmopolitan nature means it is a destination for many from all over the world for business and holidays. It has the facilities and is open in terms of policies governing production and formation of commodity chains. Being an international finance center, it has strong external orientations towards other global metropolises such as Hong Kong, London, and New York. Frankfurt, on the other hand, pales in comparison to the other cities in terms of global commodity chains. Nonetheless, it is a key city in the EU with its links to the ECB.
Comparison in terms of Corporate Strategy and Integration
Corporate strategy and integration point to aspects such as institutional and political frameworks, urbanization, regional functions, product and service specialization, urban development and planning, urban structure, the environment, social and cultural aspects (Simmie 2004; Zook and Brunn 2005). In this regard, cities are an atmosphere for regional planning in the sense that they are a link to regional equilibrium and urban development. They are both administrative centers and sources of products and services. They host national and provincial authorities who are key to corporate strategy and integration. Telecommunications, wholesale and retail businesses, banks and many other activities also contribute both primarily and secondarily, to the role of corporate strategy and integration.
Frankfurt is Germanys 5th biggest city. It is in the state of Hessia, in which it is the largest city. The citys boundaries house 717,624 people. In total, however, the urban region had a population of 2,221,910 as of 2014. Being a hub of culture, commerce, tourism and education, it plays well in its role in corporate strategy and Integration. There is good traffic infrastructure and major business entities both international and local. It is also a political center being the largest city in Hessia State of Germany and being the headquarters of the ECB. It has the 3rd largest airport and the largest cargo airport in this European region. Its railway network system is also great connected to all parts of Germany. As such, Frankfurt is key as far as corporate strategy and integration is concerned.
Just as Frankfurt is key to Germany and other European countries, Barcelona is the 2nd largest city in Spain and the largest in Catalonia. Home to many industries and multinational corporations, it acts well in linking business to administration and consumption in that it has 5 million people in terms of population. Lots of activities go on in this city from education, tourism activities to global conferences such as the mobile world congress that occurs annually. In this sense, people from all over the world converge in Barcelona for various reasons integrating and serving each other well in different capacities. It plays a bigger role in this sense compared to Frankfurt which has a smaller population and pales in terms of commerce and trade activities. Barcelona is also known for sporting activities being home to FC Barcelona, a giant in the footballing world; in Europe and the rest of the world.
Singapores economic rise has to be attributed to the convergence of so many factors amongst them, geographic location, administrative policies, economic policies, economic activities in the region and so forth. An Asian Tiger, its significance to the financial world means that it rises over Frankfurt and Barcelona as far as corporate strategy and integration is concerned. Singapore is a tourist, business, educational, and transport hub in Asia. A key city in the region and the rest of the world, a number of things have to converge well and operate harmoniously to make things happen. This include activities such businesses, urbanization, and the politics of the land. In addition to its local market, it has an exuberant foreign market in India, Africa, and other Asian countries. High FDI also helps in rating it in terms of corporate strategy and integration.
Vancouver is ranked by leading international authorities as amongst the best places to live in the world. It has low costs of doing business and is therefore attractive to investors and even small business enterprises. It has established industries as well as developing industries in areas such as manufacturing, biotechnology, digital media and cinema (Hannam, Sheller, and Urry 2006; Miki 2000). I...
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