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São Paulo | First World Cost of Living, Emerging Cost of Dying


For the average person in a developing city, the most important factor is safety, health, and security. Efficiency is also important— and that relates to transport or connectivity and how you lay things out through good urban planning. This ability to get around efficiently is probably second in importance only to safety. — Cities of Opportunity | PWC-Partnership for New York City (2012)

Globo News reports, awkwardly worded:

Among Brazilian cities, São Paulo hosts Brazil’s stock exchange as well as the largest number of multinational corporations among Brazilian cities, and its heart beats to the rhythm of business.  But it is  in terms of its business sector that it was recently ranked alongside other major cities in the world.

Among 27 global urban centers, São Paulo ranked 26th in terms of business opportunities. Mumbai was ranked in 27th place.

The city ranks 26th in terms of transportation and infrastructure. In terms of health care and public safety, it ranks last. Along with these well known problems, another difficulty stands out: Internet access is a bottleneck for local businesses due to low quality and high cost.

“Infrastructure that remains out of date and a lack of innovative uses of this technology prevents us from offering a more attractive business environment,”says Alexandre Barbosa of Cetic.br.

Furthermore, how can São Paulo make itself more attractive when it is the third most expensive city in the world in terms of the cost of maintaining a business? The “cost of Brazil” is another factor that diminishes São Paulo’s ability to compete. Other world cities, such as Mumbai and Buenos Aires, have tax rates similar to those found here, according to the study. But the cost of living in São Paulo is as high as it is in cities of the First World.

The results of the ranking were not worse only because of São Paulo’s central economic role: it plays host to some of the largest corporations in the world and its cultural life is intense. “Options exist. What the city must do now is discuss what is to be done and create a plan for the middle and long term,” said Richard Dubois, a partner at Price Watherhouse [sic] Brasil.

The Estado de S. Paulo provides a more complete summary, including a full and proper citation of the study, which had to be googled up to be checked.

São Paulo has declined in terms of its score in a recenlty released 2012 PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) study of social and economic development indicators compared with 2011, and as a result fell to next to last among 27 global urban centers.

According to Cities of Opportunity 2012, released on Wednesday, it outranks only Mumbai and ranks behind other emerging urban centers such as  Johannesburgo (25th), Istambul (24th), Buenos Aires 23rd) and Mexico City (21st). New York remains the leader with 1,112 points, more than double the points scored by the Brazilian city (527).

São Paulo saw its score decline in seven of the ten criteria analyzed, many of them crucial to the realization of such international events as the World Cup 2014. In transportation and infrastructure, for example, the São Paulo capital beat out only Johannesburg.  Its score fell from 28 points in 2011 to 22 in the study just released. levantamento divulgado hoje.

São Paulo also scored lower in the areas of economic influence, technological readiness, health and public safety, demographics and quality of life, sustainablity, and lifestyle.

Improvements were noted in the areas of intellectual capital and innovation, but these advances wre insufficient to improve the city’s score — it ranked 24th, 21st and 25th, respectively, in these areas.

The study is not as purely negative as Globo makes it out to be.

“In relation to other emerging cities, São Paulo is among the easiest to do business,” said the  PwC Brasil partner and lead researcher for government and the public sector, Richard Dubois. The study shows it is easier to open businesses in São Paulo than in Beijing  (22nd place), Istambul (23), Moscow (24), Buenos Aires (25), Mumbai (26) e Shanghai (27). Emerging cities scoring higher than the Brazilian metropolis were Johannesburg (19) and Mexico City (17).

Dubois notes, on the other hand, that national data were used for the nine items used to calculate the ease of doing business. An example is the ease of starting a new business, in which São Paulo received a grade of 6 out of 27 possible. Sydney,  Austrália received the highest grade in this area.

The only Brazilian city studied — Rio de Janeiro will join the list in 2013 — is notable for its real growth in GDP. It growth in this area ranked 16th from 2010 to 2011, ahead of Seoul, Abu Dhabi, Sydney, Tokyo, Paris and London, among others. São Paulo ranks 7th in economically active age groups and 15th in terms of major construction projects.