chapter
Gateways to emerging markets
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An alternative approach is to look at connectivity-through-subordination. This is the obverse of searching for dominant cities (Figure 4.7). Based as they are upon the subordinate relations, there is a temptation to see these cities only as ‘dependent’ within a hierarchy. But in network relations, where all cities are dependent on all others by definition, this subordination does not equal powerlessness. Rather I interpret these cities as ‘emerging centres’, new strategic places where firms from elsewhere choose to expand their geographical reach. In Figure 4.11 thirty-one cities with connectivity-throughsubordination levels above 5,000 are shown; those with levels above 6,000 are selected as ‘major’ emerging centres. By definition, all these cities have few important offices – global or regional – but they house large numbers of ordinary offices. This suggests that the cities each have a particular attraction to many global service firms that have to have a presence in the city. Beijing has the highest connectivity-through-subordination, followed closely by Moscow. These are obviously capital cities of countries with large ‘emerging’ markets. Other major emerging centres – Seoul, Caracas and São Paulo – are also leading cities in important emerging markets. Zurich, Europe’s only major emerging centre, is a special case relating to Switzerland’s success as a ‘neutral’ venue (especially in banking, where it is more a ‘lax gatekeeper’ than a gateway) within the world-economy. Beyond these major emerging centres the other cities in Figure 4.11 are quite similar in nature, being leading cities in emerging markets outside or on the fringe of the core of the world-economy.