When comparing economies across the globe, one of the first aspects that comes to mind is the number and financial performance of metropolises in each country. A metropolis, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, is ‘a major city together with its suburbs and nearby cities, town, and environs over which the major city exercises a commanding economic and social influence’.

New York City and London are perfect examples of metropolises, and perform accordingly on all fronts. However, many of the top metropolises have become too saturated or expensive to invest in. Perhaps it’s time to move to lesser known cities, and explore their potential. After all, having the first-mover’s advantage can make all the difference when it comes to Returns on Investment (ROI).

Here are a few cities worth exploring for innovative investment opportunities:

  1. San Jose, United States of America

San Jose is the home of the Silicon Valley; the hub of the global tech industry. Hence, numerous people gravitate towards it for economic opportunities. It experiences remarkable job creation and income growth due to the tech industry, and is a potential goldmine for investors. With the increasing income and higher standards of living here, real estate developers and investors have quite a lucrative market to tap into.

Currently, it is one of the most expensive markets in the world for housing; with average prices as high as USD 1 million. This is reflected by the fact that the city has the most millionaires and billionaires in the United States, per capita.

  1. Chengdu, China

This is one of China’s fastest growing tech hubs and its leadership’s focus on science and technology has contributed greatly to its status as an important metropolis of the country. It serves as the capital of the south-western province of Sichuan and is among the three most populated cities of China. According to the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, it is a ‘World City’; meaning that it is one of the important economic nodes across the globe.

With its focus on technology – and the rate of growth – it is the perfect place for investors, whether they are interested in science and technology, or in real estate. Chengdu has helped raise lifestyle standards in China, so the market is quite receptive to new projects.

  1. Fuzhou, China

The capital of China’s Fujian province, Fuzhou was ranked as the 10th fastest growing metropolitan area in the world by Brookings Institution in 2015. Its growth stems from its status as one of China’s ‘open cities’, awarded in 1984. This meant that it had an open-door policy to foreign investment. It is a centre for timber-work, engineering, printing, textile, papermaking, fashion design, and commercial banking. It manufactures numerous goods and is an epicentre for trade.

What makes Fuzhou an excellent destination for investment is the ease of trade, as well as the availability of economic and technology zones; which facilitate investors and help them get the best returns on their capital.

  1. Manila, Philippines

As the capital of the Philippines and is the most densely populated city in the world, as per 2018. Its central location, connecting Asia with the South American nations, has made it an economically important city since time immemorial. Therefore, it has become an international centre for banking, finance, commerce, transport, real estate, media, tourism, and various service industries.

The presence of a port in Manila makes it’s a key area for trade, and is the premier international shipping gateway to the country. There are also a number of manufacturers present in the city, who produce chemicals, clothing, textiles, and electronic goods. With its key location and numerous avenue for investment, Manila should not be ignored when considering international investment.

  1. Bangalore, India

The capital of Karnataka, India, Bangalore has a population of over 10 million – and is known as the ‘Silicon Valley of India’. It comes off as the leading exporter of information technology in India and serves as home to the headquarters of India’s top technological organisations; including Infosys and HAL.

In addition, state-owned aerospace and defence organisations such as Hindustan Aeronautics and the National Aerospace Laboratories are also located here. Therefore, the number of people who relocate here for employment is quite high, so there are numerous avenues for investment.

  1. Karachi, Pakistan

Karachi is the fifth most populous city in the world, and is the largest contributor to Pakistan’s GDP. Home to the two major ports of the country, the Port of Karachi and the Port of Bin Qasim, it is one of the most economically significant cities in the region.

It is home to the headquarters of the top national and international organisations in the country, and also contains Pakistan’s busiest airport; the Jinnah International Airport. Due to its financial importance and employment opportunities, the provincial capital of Sindh receives a large influx of migrants from rural areas. While looking for a Karachi house for sale, these migrants also explore various business opportunities; so there is always room for investment.

  1. Osaka-Kobe, Japan

Osaka-Kobe is one of the most important economic metropolises of Japan. It consists of Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe. The city is home to approximately 15% of Japan’s population and offers a number of economic opportunities for foreign investors.

Food aficionados must have easily recognised Kobe as being home to the famous Kobe beef; which is desired all over the world for its tenderness. In addition, this area is instrumental in driving the global economy and is one of the most productive regions in the world. The urban employment rates in various localities and prefectures here are quite high; making it an economically significant and investment-friendly region.

So, explore these bustling metropolises for global investment opportunities and you will see high returns on capital due to the performance of these areas. However, make sure you do your research thoroughly in order to get the best value for your investment.