Despite concerns over the economic slowdown in China, two of the country's cities have won spots in a ranking of the world's top 10 competitive cities.
This is the finding from the China Institute of City Competitiveness in Hong Kong, a think tank whose annual survey ranks Shanghai at seventh place in 2016, with Hong Kong at ninth.
The top three cities are New York, followed by Tokyo and London. Singapore ranked sixth, taking the number of Asian entrants in the top 10 to five.
Over the past few years, Shanghai has remained on a fast track with annual growth as high as 7 per cent, while Hong Kong managed to maintain a 2 per cent growth annually, said Chairman Gui Qiangfang.
"As a world-renowned financial hub, Hong Kong itself still retains its competitive edge," Gui noted.
Wei Dazhi, an economist at Shenzhen University, said Hong Kong still has great economic potential. But social conflict would definitely take its toll on the city's competitiveness.
"All in all, fears that Hong Kong is losing its edge to mainland and regional rivals never come as an empty threat. The alarm has already been sounded regarding the territory's competitiveness," said Wei.