A new Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) research report, "Hot Spots 2025: Benchmarking the Future Competitiveness of Cities," commissioned by Citi, projects that São Paulo, Incheon and Mumbai will see the greatest surge in global competitiveness between 2012 and 2025.

The report forecasts the competitiveness of 120 cities in 2025 based on their projected ability to attract capital, business, talent and tourists.

"Around the world, cities continue to evolve as the centers of innovation and engines of economic growth," said Citi CEO Michael Corbat. "Core to Citi’s strategy is a focus on the 150 cities we believe will shape the world in the years ahead. The Citi-commissioned EIU research will enhance understanding of the factors driving urban competitiveness and illuminate how the highest performing cities continue to create competitive advantages."

According to the report, the 10 most competitive cities in the world in 2025 are forecast to be New York (1st), London (2nd), Singapore (3rd), Hong Kong (4th), Tokyo (5th), Sydney (6th), Paris (7th), Stockholm (8th), Chicago (9th) and Toronto (10th).

"Major cities in India, Brazil, and other emerging markets are expected to improve their competitive position and gain ground on many cities in more established economies," said Leo Abruzzese, the EIU’s global forecasting director. "Strong economic growth, improving physical infrastructure, and increasingly skilled labor forces will boost emerging cities’ competitiveness, though North American and Western European cities will ultimately retain their competitive advantage."

"Hot Spots 2025: Benchmarking the Future Competitiveness of Cities" projects cities’ competitive standing in 2025 across eight distinct categories of competitiveness and 32 individual indicators. Categories include economic strength, physical capital, financial maturity, institutional character, human capital, global appeal, social and cultural character, and environmental and natural hazards.