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New York City Tops Global Competitiveness, Economist Report Says

New York City ranks first among 120 cities across the globe in attracting capital, businesses and tourists, according to an Economist Intelligence Unit report commissioned by Citigroup Inc.

London was the second most-competitive city, followed by Singapore, with Paris and Hong Kong tied for fourth place, according to the report, which was released today. Among U.S. cities, Washington, Chicago and Boston made the top 10.

The report cited New York’s diverse economy, driven by media, arts, fashion, technology and finance. In 2010, New York was second only to California’s Silicon Valley as a source of venture capital in the U.S., according to the report.

The study also highlighted the joint venture between Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology to build an applied-science and engineering campus on Roosevelt Island in the East River. The project, championed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is expected to generate $6 billion in economic activity, according to the report.

“New York City’s position at the very top of this list is no accident,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “It’s due to the investments our administration has made and the world-famous ingenuity and creativity of New Yorkers.”

New York attracted a record 50.5 million tourists last year, according to NYC & Co., the city’s marketing and tourism office.

China’s Clout

The 120 global cities surveyed have a total population of about 750 million, account for 29 percent of the world economy and had a combined gross domestic product of $20.2 trillion in 2011. In terms of “economic strength,” the most highly weighted category, Asian cities accounted for 15 of the top 20 locations, including 12 Chinese cities.

Citigroup, the third-biggest U.S. bank, has been based in New York since the company was founded 200 years ago, said Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit.

“Our commitment to this city, and its continued competitiveness, are as strong as ever,” Pandit said in a statement. “As cities vie for investment, talent and business, we recognize that competitiveness is about more than growth.”

New York’s mayor is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

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