Race for the Money: International Financial Centers in Asia

62 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2009 Last revised: 19 Jul 2010

See all articles by D. S. L. Jarvis

D. S. L. Jarvis

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Date Written: June 3, 2009


Asia’s emergence as a key player in the global economy is witnessing intense competition within the region to become Asia’s next great international financial centre. Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai, among others, are each vying for primacy, attempting to attract dense clusters of financial services firms and reap the lucrative rewards associated with this. This paper explores this emerging competition. It does so from the perspective of attempting to map the parameters necessary to become an international financial centre, particularly the institutional, political and spatial contexts that facilitate the concentration of international financial services. Why and how financial clustering occurs and the factors that determine the location of financial centres is an important public policy concern, both for established centres eager to maintain their competitive position as well as emerging economies keen to identify the policy levers necessary to support financial sector growth. To that end, the paper explores the experiences and strategies of three of Asia’s current contenders; Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore, analyzing the policy architecture, financial sector strategies, institutional mechanisms and spatial geographies undergirding financial sector growth, and the constraints, obstacles and challenges each face in developing and or consolidating their international financial centre.

Keywords: International financial centres, Asia, financial clustering, Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, financial sector depth

JEL Classification: F100, F02, F23, F33, G28

Suggested Citation

Jarvis, Darryl Stuart, Race for the Money: International Financial Centers in Asia (June 3, 2009). Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Research Paper No. LKYSPP09-012-CAG005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1413524 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1413524

Darryl Stuart Jarvis (Contact Author)

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