A s I was flying out of the Houston airport (IAH) one evening this week, I was reminded of my Texan friend’s comment “Everything is bigger in Texas.” According to the Mckinsey Global Institute’s city scope database, Houston is expected to have a population of 7.7 million people by 2025. The ground was lit as far as I could see as my plane took off.

While that makes it one of the largest cities in the United States, it is ranked 22nd on McKinsey’s 75 Dynamic cities list. To put this in perspective of the growth of cities over the next decade, Shanghai’s population is expected to be 30.9 million people. That is 4 Houston’s put together.  Everything is growing in Asia.

The migration and growth of cities in emerging markets is the story of the next decade. Out of McKinsey’s 75 countries – 29 are in China alone, 13 are in the United States and 3 in Europe. These cities that are growing will supply more than 30 percent of GDP growth between now and 2025. According to this story reported in Foreign Policy magazine, “By 2025 the world’s top 600 cities will be home to an estimated 220 million more people of working age and account for more than 30 percent of the potential workforce.”

See if you know where the top 10 dynamic cities (ranked by projected absolute GDP growth) are located on a map.

  1. Shanghai, China (4 Houston’s)
  2. Beijing, China (4 Houston’s)
  3. Tianjin, China (2 Houston’s)
  4. Sao Paulo, Brazil (3 Houston’s)
  5. Guangzhou, China (2 Houston’s)
  6. Shenzhen, China (almost 2 Houston’s)
  7. New York, United States (2.5 Houston’s)
  8. Chongqing, China (2.5 Houston’s)
  9. Moscow, Russia (1.5 Houston’s)
  10. Tokyo, Japan (4.5 Houston’s)
  1. Houston

While I am not sure how accurate these projections will be for 2025, it is important to know that cities will continue to grow in these new markets. There are some amazing opportunities.

Beeline and our partners know that the Asia market will continue to grow in terms of people, services, and products. We will continue to invest in our people, services, and localizing our products for Asia.

Expanding into Asia is not simple. You need to be aware of the different labor laws, tax regulations, and cultural considerations. As Beeline has expanded into Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines, India, Australia, and New Zealand, we have learned a lot of lessons. One of those is that you cannot operate from the United States without some local presence. Fortunately we continue to invest in local resources in these countries and continue to build upon our local knowledge to help our clients.

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