Cover Image
close this bookEmerging World Cities in Pacific Asia (UNU, 1996, 528 pages)
close this folderPart 1. Global - Asia - Pacific functional linkages
close this folderInternational transport and communications interactions between Pacific Asia's emerging world cities
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentMultilayered flows
View the documentGoods transactions
View the documentInternational passengers
View the documentInternational telecommunications
View the documentConclusion
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentNotes
View the documentReferences

Multilayered flows

Since 1970, much emphasis has been placed on the emergence of global network corporations and the likely impact of new information technologies -satellites and optic fibres - on spatial structures (Castells, 1989). As they have increased the availability of knowledge, these technologies have led to an interest in analysing telephone calls and the transmission of faxes and telexes between world cities. At best, this focus provides a partial analysis of international linkages and interactions because it concentrates on the transmission of routinized and uncomplicated information. It neglects the movements of individuals that are necessary to transfer structurally complex information (i.e. knowledge) in face-to-face contacts, and goods transactions increasingly decentralized because of the decreasing costs of transport, the introduction of robots, and computerized production control. If this conceptual problem is to be overcome, the multilayered flows between Pacific Asia's emerging world cities, comprising goods, people, and information, must be considered (fig. 3.1).

Tri-level flows

In a bid to resolve this issue Kobayashi and Okada (1990) have recognized that movements of goods, people, and information are exchanged between firms (and households) on a spatial network comprising nodes and links. In our analysis, nodes are world cities comprising firms with goods production and information capacities (i.e. universities and research centres). Links facilitate flows. A tri-level infrastructural arrangement is envisaged comprising low-speed transport, high-speed transport, and telecommunications networks to accommodate movements of goods, people, and information (fig. 3.2). In exchanging standardized information, personal contacts can be replaced by telecommunications. Where information is complex, face-to-face contact is necessary for negotiations and the transmission of new knowledge; transport is essential to promote cooperation between workers and more advanced research and development activities.


Fig. 3.1 Multilayered flows between world cities

Accessibility is a key concept because it determines each emerging world city's potential as a generator of goods, people, and information. Also, it reflects the decreasing role of the friction of distance in telecommunications and its persistence in movements of goods and people. Internal network structure within a world city is an important determinant of the regional division of labour. With the highest accessibility, the central node is the prime location for workers handling both structurally complex and uncomplicated information. Owing to the spread of telecommunications, the flow of standardized information at peripheral nodes has increased, therefore workers can be decentralized and face-to-face contact can be replaced by the transmission of data and information.

A major problem is that the expansion of the telecommunications network is outstripping the growth of both high-speed and slow-speed transport networks - the result of opposition from environmental groups. Rather than all three surfaces being shown as equal, they should be tapered to reflect this phenomenon. Although there is some scope for technological substitution between transport and telecommunications, research suggests that the new media will increase rather than reduce the need for face-to-face contact. Inevitably, existing networks will be congested.


Fig. 3.2 The tri-level infrastructural arrangement comprising low-speed transport, high-speed transport, and telecommunications networks (Source: based on Kobayashi and Okada, 1990)

Already, congested road networks and rising truck costs between Japanese world cities are prompting a modal shift from road to rail, coastal shipping, and air (Nikkei, 11 September 1991; 12 September 1991; 13 September 1991; 26 September 1991). The shift, however, has been hampered by saturated railway lines and inadequate port and airport infrastructure. In a bid to accommodate changing relative demands for infrastructure, most investment in urban agglomerations in Pacific Asia will be in nodes (ports, airports, and teleports) rather than in links.1

Urban agglomerations

The United Nations' Prospects of World Urbanization (UN, 1989) provides information on urban agglomerations in Pacific Asia for 1975, 1985, and 2000. In 1985, these agglomerations ranged in size from 19 million people in Tokyo to 310,000 in Vientiane (Laos). Of these, 29 agglomerations were identified as being among the world's "top 100" with populations in excess of 2 million (table 3.1). In selecting world cities for study it is tempting to establish an arbitrary cut-off (say 2 million or 5 million). However, this would mean that many Chinese agglomerations with no direct global connections would have to be included, while agglomerations such as Kuala Lumpur whose international importance belies their population size would be excluded. Further, the Klang Valley Corridor covering the Kuala Lumpur conurbation, Shah Alam, and Klang, and the wider definitions of Jakarta (Jabotabek) and Singapore would also be eliminated. While adjacent cities such as Manila-Quezon, Osaka-Kobe, and Tokyo-Yokohama are grouped together, larger conceptualizations are feasible, as exemplified by Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe (Keihanshin). A strong case exists for collocating Beijing and Tianjin, Hong Kong and Guangzhou, Seoul and Pusan, and Taipei and Kaohsiung as single entities because they function as extended metropolitan areas.

Instead of altering the United Nations' definition of urban agglomerations, 12 representative world cities have been chosen for study: Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Osaka, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei, and Tokyo (fig. 3.3). Between 1975 and 1985, their combined population grew at 8 per cent per annum from almost 66 million to a little under 93 million (table 3.2). A slower rate of growth of 6.4 per cent is anticipated between 1985 and 2000, with the combined population reaching almost 122 million. Over this 25-year period a marked shift in the distribution of world city populations is expected. World cities in South-East Asia will boost their share of the combined population from one-fifth in 1975 to one-third in 2000 - Singapore will be the only South-East Asia centre to experience a relative decline. Conversely, Taipei is expected to be the only emerging world city in East Asia to increase its share of the combined population.

Population is an unreliable guide to judging a world city's status; it has to be supplemented by indicators of commercial transactions, people, information, and financial services. In 1982, this approach was used in a study by Nomura Research Institute (NSK, 1982). Of the 12 cities under review, five were classified as super-integrated, international cities - Seoul as a commercial centre, Hong Kong as a financial centre, and Manila, Singapore, and Tokyo as multi-faceted centres; another five were classified as highly integrated international cities - Taipei and Osaka as commercial centres, Jakarta and Bang kok as information centres, and Kuala Lumpur as a financial centre; and two - Beijing and Shanghai - were unranked because they failed to meet the criteria to be considered as international cities (unlike Kobe, Nagoya, and Guangzhou) (see table 3.3).

Table 3.1 Urban agglomerations with a population of 2 million or more in Pacific Asia, 1985, and their average rate of growth, 1970-2000

Rank in 1985


Population (million)

Average annual rate of
growth (%)


Agglomeration

1970

1985

2000

1970-1985

1985-2000

1

Tokyo/Yokohama (Japan)

14.87

19.04

21.32

1.65

0.75

5

Shanghai (China)

11.41

12.06

14.69

0.37

1.32

10

Seoul (Korea, Rep. of)

5.31

10.07

12.97

4.27

1.69

12

Osaka/Kobe (Japan)

7.60

9.56

11.18

1.53

1.04

14

Beijing (China)

8.29

9.33

11.47

0.79

1.38

17

Tianjin (China)

6.87

7.96

9.96

0.98

1.49

19

Jakarta (Indonesia)

4.32

7.79

13.23

3.93

3.53

22

Manila/Quezon City (Philippines)

3.53

7.09

11.48

4.65

3.21

26

Bangkok (Thailand)

3.11

5.86

10.26

4.22

3.73

29

Hong Kong (Hong Kong)

3.40

5.16

6.09

2.78

1.10

39

Shenyang (China)

3.14

4.11

5.50

1.79

1.94

40

Pusan (Korea, Rep. of)

1.81

4.02

5.82

5.32

2.47

46

Wuhan (China)

2.73

3.40

4.47

1.46

1.82

49

Guangzhou (China)

2.50

3.33

4.49

1.91

1.99

64

Ho Chi Minh (Viet Nam)

2.00

2.78

4.42

2.20

3 09

66

Chongqing (China)

2.46

2.72

3.42

0.67

1.53

67

Rangoona (Burma)

1.43

2.71

4.45

4.26

3.31

70

Chengdu (China)

1.58

2.69

3.98

3.55

2.61

76

Harbin (China)

2.00

2.63

3.56

1.83

2.02

79

Singapore (Singapore)

1.56

2.56

2.95

3.30

0.95

81

Taipei (China)

1.50

2.52

3.78

3.46

2.70

83

Zibo (China)

1.30

2.41

3.76

4.12

2.97

85

Surabaya (Indonesia)

1.47

2.32

3.67

3.04

3.06

86

Xian (China)

1.73

2.28

3.08

1.84

2.01

89

Lupanshui (China)

1.66

2.20

3.00

1.88

2.07

92

Nanjing (China)

1.78

2.16

2.83

1.29

1.80

94

Kitakyushu (Japan)

1.59

2.09

2.39

1.82

0.89

98

Medan (Indonesia)

0.61

2.05

5.36

8.08

6.41

99

Nagoya (Japan)

1.85

2.05

2.11

0.68

0.19

Source: UN (1989).
a. Now known as Yangon (Myanmar)


Fig. 3.3 Urban agglomerations in Pacific Asia in 2000 (Source: UN, 1989)

Table 3.2 Actual and estimated population of emerging world cities in Pacific Asia, 1970, 1985, and 2000


1970

1985

2000

City

Million

Per cent

Million

Per cent

Million

Per cent

Jakarta

4.32

6.6

7.79

8.4

13.23

10.9

Singapore

1.56

2.4

2.56

2.8

2.95

2.4

Kuala Lumpur

0.64

1.0

1.27

1.4

2.56

2.1

Bangkok

3.11

4.7

5.86

6.3

10.26

8.4

Manila/Quezon City

3.53

5.4

7.09

7.7

11.48

9.4

South-East Asia

13.16

20.1

24.57

26.6

40.48

33.2

Taipei

1.50

2.3

2.52

2.7

3.78

3.1

Hong Kong

3.40

5.2

5.16

5.6

6.09

5.0

Shanghai

11.41

17.4

12.06

13.0

14.69

12.0

Beijing

8.29

12.6

9.33

10.1

11.47

9.4

Osaka/Kobe

7.60

11.6

9.56

10.4

11.18

9.2

Tokyo/Yokohama

14.87

22.7

19.08

20.7

21.32

17.5

Seoul

5.31

8.1

10.07

10.9

12.97

10.6

East Asia

52.38

79.9

67.78

73.4

81.50

66.8

Pacific Asia

65.54

100.0

92.35

100.0

121.98

100.0

Source: UN (1989).

The Nomura Research Institute's study was insightful, though it was biased towards information from Japan and ignored agglomerations (e.g. Osaka and Kobe were considered separately). In 1991, an attempt was made by the author to update the material for world cities preliminary to investigating flows of goods, people, information, and capital between them. This provided additional insights into infrastructure but was inconclusive about the fortunes of individual cities. There is little doubt that Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, and Tokyo had maintained their first-ranking status. Evidence of Manila's reduced status and Bangkok's claim for upgrading to the topmost ranking could not be substantiated. Although Osaka and Taipei should have had little trouble in maintaining their second-ranked status, improved showings from Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta were not apparent. As is evident from table 3.4, there were few grounds on which Beijing and Shanghai could be classed as international cities in 1991. It is difficult, however, to draw authoritative conclusions from these data. An analysis is required of changes in flows of goods, people, and information over time - a need that comes up against the barrier of data availability.

Table 3.3 Classification of Pacific Asian cities, 1982


JAK

SIN

KUL

BKK

MNL

TPE

HKG

SHA

BJS

OSA

TKO

SEL

Services:

Airport (500,000)

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

-

Ö

-

-

Ö

Ö

Ö

Conventions

7

59

3

0

1

0

4

1

0

8

4

11

Education (no. of universities)

n.a.

n.a.

3

n.a.

7

1

1

n.a.

n.a.

4

11

2

International R&D

4

4

11

24

8

-

1

0

0

n.a.

n.a.

26

Commercial:

Branches major trading company

139

74

39

57

92

91

107

0

32

n.a.

n.a.

73

Head office MNC

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

20

79

6

Port (over 50,000 tonnes)

Ö

Ö

-

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

-

Ö

Ö

-

Information:

Branches of Japanese newspapers

6

6

0

6

4

0

6

0

6

n.a.

n.a.

6

International organizations

2

0

0

9

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Financial:

Money order market

-

Ö

Ö

-

Ö

-

Ö

-

-

-

Ö

-

Capital market

-

-

-

-

-

-

Ö

-

-

-

-

-

Japanese banks and securities

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

-

-

Ö

Ö

Ö

Evaluation

2

1

2

2

1

2

1

4

4

2

1

1

Source: NSK (1982).
Abbreviations: JAK - Jakarta; SIN - Singapore; KUL - Kuala Lumpur; BKK - Bangkok; MNL - Manila; TPE - Taipei; HKG - Hong Kong; SHA - Shanghai; BJS - Beijing; OSA - Osaka; TKO - Tokyo; and SEL - Seoul.

Evaluation: 1 = Super-integrated international city; 2 = Highly integrated international city; 3 = International city; 4 = Unranked.

Table 3.4 Classification of Pacific Asian cities, 1991


JAK

SIN

KUL

BKK

MEL

TPE

HKG

SHA

BJS

OSA

TKO

SEL

Services:

Airport (1 mill.)

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

Ö

-

-

Ö

Ö

Ö

Conventions, 1992

2

34

n.a.

16

11

4

110

3

25

5

34

10

Education (no. of universities and colleges)

12

5

10

12

22

n.a.

n.a.

6

17

13

57

18

Hotel management companies (no. of chains)

4

7

3

5

4

2

7

3

2

4

4

1

Commercial:

Head office MNC













Fortune 500

0

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

111a

11

Top 500 Asia Pacific companies

2

50

80

60

80

30

100

0

0

150a

100

Top 50 airlines

1

1

1

1

0

1

1

0

0

0

3

1

Port (over 1 mill. TEUs)

-

Ö

-

-

-

Ö

Ö

-

-

Ö

Ö

Ö

Information:

International organ izations

42

41

49

99

83

0

0

0

0

0

88

31

Financial:

Top 100 banks

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

30

4

Sources: Besser (1991); Fortune, 30 July 1990; EPL (1989); M (1992); UIA (1989).
Abbreviations: JAK - Jakarta; SIN - Singapore; KUL - Kuala Lumpur; BKK - Bangkok; MNL - Manila; TPE - Taipei; HKG - Hong Kong; SHA - Shanghai; BJS - Beijing; OSA - Osaka; TKO - Tokyo; and SEL - Seoul.
a. Figures refer to both Osaka and Tokyo.

Table 3.5 Checklist of transactions between emerging world cities in Pacific Asia

Goods and commercial transactions

Information flows

Express freight

Base international organizations

HQs/branches MNCs (Fortune 500)

Consultancies

Ports (container movements)

International franchises


Optical fibre networks

Movement of people

Satellite TV

Air passengers

Telephone calls

Conventions

Trading companies

Education (overseas university students)


International schools

Capital flows

Labour movement

Banking institutions

Sports Olympics

Money markets

Tourists


Universal expositions


Data availability

An ambitious list of items was earmarked for investigation comprising goods and commercial transactions, movement of people, and information and capital flows (see table 3.5). If dynamic changes in international linkages and interactions between Pacific Asian world cities are to be traced, however, the minimum requirement is to obtain dyadic data for at least two points in time. A major problem is the availability of appropriate statistics. Most dyadic data are not for world cities but for coarse areas (supra-regions or countries). For example, the tourism statistics for Pacific Asia are available only by country (WTO, 1990). The problem is complicated by some economies collecting statistics by country of residence. They include Malaysia and Hong Kong (table 3.6). Other countries record statistics only by nationality, notably China, Japan, and South Korea (table 3.7). Yet Indonesia, the Philippines, and Singapore supply statistics by both country of residence and nationality. No figures are provided for Taiwan by either country of residence or nationality, though they do exist (ROC, 1990a,b,c). These complications preclude effective use of annual tourism statistics, though some provide breakdowns by mode (air, sea, and road). Others supply information on tourist motivations (business, holidays, and visits to friends and relatives).

Table 3.6 Tourists from abroad within Pacific Asia by country of residence, 1988 ('000)

From/To

Ind

Sin

Mal

Thai

Phil

Taiw

HK

Chin

Jpn

Kor

Indonesia

-

n.a.


n.a.

7

n.a.

106

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Singapore

347

-


n.a.

24

n.a.

187

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Malaysia

105

n.a.

2,598

n.a.

16

n.a.

127

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Thailand

9

n.a.


-

10

n.a.

186

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Philippines

10

n.a.


n.a.

-

n.a.

159

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Taiwan

33

152

31

-

56

-

1,094

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Hong Kong

29

124

44

n.a.

133

n.a.

-

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

China

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

2

n.a.


-

n.a.

n.a.

Japan

158

682

154

n.a.

182

n.a.

1,240

n.a.

-

n.a.

South Korea

20

55

n.a.

n.a.

16

n.a.

101

n.a.

n.a.

-

Source: WTO (1990).
Abbreviations: Ind - Indonesia; Sin - Singapore; Mal - Malaysia; Thai - Thailand; Phil -Philippines; Taiw - Taiwan; HK - Hong Kong; Chin - China; Jpn - Japan; Kor - South Korea.

Table 3.7 Tourists from abroad within Pacific Asia by nationality, 1988 ('000)

From/To

Ind

Sin

Mal

Thai

Phil

Taiw

HK

Chin

Jpn

Kor

Indonesia

-

n.a.

n.a.

32

7

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

32

10

Singapore

320

-

n.a.

248

18

n.a.

n.a.

65

35

18

Malaysia

110

n.a.

-

867

17

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

46

16

Thailand

8

n.a.

n.a.

-

9

n.a.

n.a.

66

47

13

Philippines

10

n.a.

n.a.

40

-

n.a.

n.a.

71

102

51

Taiwan

34

156

n.a.

135

n.a.

-

n.a.

n.a.

411

124

Hong Kong

10

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

-

n.a.

31

62

China

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

90

n.a.

n.a.

-

109

0

Japan

161

700

n.a.

449

180

n.a.

n.a.

591

-

1,124

South Korea

21

n.a.

n.a.

65

16

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

341

-

Source: WTO (1990).
Abbreviation: Ind - Indonesia; Sin - Singapore; Mal - Malaysia; Thai - Thailand; Phil -Philippines; Taiw - Taiwan; HK - Hong Kong; Chin - China; Jpn - Japan; Kor - South Korea.

Similar problems occur with statistics on overseas students (table 3.8). Data are available for Singapore, the Philippines, China, Japan, and Korea for the period 1985-1988 (UNESCO, 1991). There is no information for Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, and Hong Kong as hosts. Moreover, in 1988, the China data are actually those for 1983 and the Singapore data are for 1987. These problems seemed insuperable and the ambitious list of items was narrowed to a consideration of transport and communication flows.

Table 3.8 Foreign students by country of origin, 1988


Source

Host

Ind

Sina

Mal

Thai

Phil

Taiw

HK

Chinb

Jpn

Kor

Total

Ind

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Sina

50


3,687

23

21

n.a.

7

1

0

0

3,789

Mal

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Thai

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Phil

282

4

34

1,028

0

n.a.

150

229

41

295

2,063

Taiw

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

HK

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Chinb

3

19

0

27

6

n.a.

0

0

806

488

1,349

Jpn

574

88

983

616

41

n.a.

207

10,422

0

562

13,493

Kor

4

2

57

8

12

n.a.

2

0

562

0

647

Total

913

113

4,761

1,702

80

n.a.

366

10,652

1,409

1,345

21,341

Source: UNESCO (1991).

Abbreviations: Ind - Indonesia; Sin - Singapore; Mal - Malaysia; Thai - Thailand; Phil - Philippines; Taiw -Taiwan; HK - Hong Kong; Chin - China; Jpn - Japan; and Kor - South Korea.
a. Singapore data are for 1987.
b. China data are for 1983.

This decision was supported by city-pair data being available for air freight, air passenger, and air mail within Pacific Asia. Even then problems still remain because no corresponding regional figures for seaports and telecommunications exist. Consequently, some heroic assumptions have to be made about world cities dominating national spatial economies. Although this may be an acceptable proposition for many world cities (e.g. 90 per cent of Thailand's exports originate in Bangkok), it does not hold true for Beijing and Shanghai in China, and Osaka and Tokyo in Japan. On occasions, therefore, recourse is made to data-rich countries (e.g. Japan) and cities (e.g. Hong Kong) to provide case-study material. As data availability determines the depth to which international linkages and connections between Pacific Asian world cities can be studied, there is a more detailed preamble to information sources in examining international freight and mail, passengers, and telecommunications.

International freight and mail

Discussions of goods and commercial transactions have to be focused on trade figures. Preparatory to any discussion of international freight, the key features of Pacific Asia's intraregional trade have to be examined. With the exception of the city-states of Hong Kong and Singapore, trade statistics are provided only for countries. Statistics derived from the Australian National University's International Economic Data Bank are available between 1978 and 1990 (though those for 1990 are estimates). In discussing the key trends, interest is centred on 1983 - a year reflecting recovery from a worldwide recession - and 1989 - the most recent year for which a full set of data is available.

In 1983, Japan was the pivot of Pacific Asia's trading system (table 3.9). It enjoyed favourable trading relations with all Pacific Asian countries. The other feature was the key role played by the traditional entrepĂ´ts of Hong Kong and Singapore - the former as the de facto economic capital of China and the latter as the hub for South-East Asia, particularly for Indonesia and Malaysia. Although they had no trade with China, both Korea and Taiwan had strong but dependent relations with Japan.

By 1989, there had been a marked shift in the value of Pacific Asia's trade owing to East Asia's share increasing from almost 62 per cent in 1983 to over 76 per cent in 1989 (table 3.10). Japan had maintained its pivotal position, holding surpluses with all economies except Indonesia. There were, however, marked gains in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and, to a lesser extent, China and Korea. With the exception of Thailand, all economies in South-East Asia experienced a relative loss as the sub-region's share of Pacific Asia trade declined from 38 per cent in 1983 to 24 per cent in 1989. How have these changes affected the fortunes of individual world cities? A useful starting point is to examine container movements because they are most likely to reflect the shifts in trade.