Auckland is the rising international financial hub of the Global South: deVere CEO

Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, is set to become one of the major financial hubs of the Global South within the next five years, predicts the CEO and founder of one of the world's largest independent financial advisory and asset management organisations.

Nigel Green of deVere Group says he sees the city competing "more effectively and aggressively" with other international finance hubs in the Global South including São Paulo, Johannesburg, Mumbai, Shanghai and Singapore.

He notes: "Auckland's geographic position is a significant advantage, strategically located at the crossroads of the Americas, Asia, and Oceania. 

"This unique positioning facilitates international trade and finance, making Auckland a prime base for multinational corporations looking to expand in the Asia-Pacific region. Auckland International Airport is one of the busiest in the region, and is undergoing significant upgrades to accommodate future growth.

"In addition, the city's port facilities are among the most advanced in the southern hemisphere. 

"These robust infrastructural foundations enhance Auckland's appeal as a global business hub, providing seamless connectivity for international trade and investment.

"Compare this, for example, to São Paulo, which is more regionally focused compared to Auckland's broader Asia-Pacific reach; and Johannesburg faces challenges with regional instability."

The deVere CEO, whose company has a network of offices globally, doing business in more than 100 countries worldwide, adds Auckland's economy is diversified across finance, technology, tourism, and education, "providing a stable base for sustained economic growth."

Government policies fostering a business-friendly environment are crucial. New Zealand has ranked first in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index, reflecting the country's efficient regulatory framework. Auckland has benefited from these policies, attracting significant foreign direct investment (FDI). 

"Compare this to Mumbai, for instance, India's rapid growth and large market are strengths, yet infrastructure challenges and bureaucratic hurdles remain. Auckland's streamlined regulatory environment provides a smoother investment landscape," says Nigel Green. 

Auckland's rise as a financial hub is significantly driven by its tech innovation. The city is a burgeoning fintech centre, with numerous startups and established companies innovating in areas such as digital payments, blockchain, and cybersecurity. 

The New Zealand fintech sector has a ten-year compound annual growth (CAGR) of 32%; four times higher than the tech industry as a whole. 

The city's innovation ecosystem is supported by strong partnerships between the private sector, academia, and government. Higher education institutions, such as the University of Auckland, are at the forefront of research and development, particularly in fintech. 

Auckland's commitment to inclusivity and sustainability sets it apart from other financial hubs. 

Nigel Green notes: "The city aims to become carbon-neutral by 2050, aligning with global sustainability goals. Initiatives such as the Auckland Climate Action Plan outline strategies to reduce emissions, promote green energy, and enhance urban resilience.

"In terms of inclusivity, it's a multicultural city with a diverse population. This diversity is reflected in the workforce, fostering an inclusive business environment that attracts global talent. The city's policies support gender equality and diversity in the workplace, enhancing its appeal as a progressive financial hub."

He concludes: "There's an undeniably strong case for Auckland to become one of the biggest and most influential financial hubs of the Global South in the next five years. Rivals should not rest on their laurels."

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