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Manila Isn't As Inclusive or Competitive As We'd All Like to Think, According to a New Ranking

The Open For Business City Ratings ranks cities that are the most open, inclusive, and competitive.
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The Philippines may be one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly countries in Asia, but the real numbers don't lie: We're not as inclusive as we'd all like to think. In fact, the Open For Business City Ratings, which ranks cities that are the most open, inclusive, and competitive, puts us at the low middle of the list.

What does it mean to be inclusive and competitive? According to Open For Business, this means having a transparent government and strong digital infrastructure, as well as being a welcoming place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people.

The criteria for economic competitiveness include economic performance, innovation, business environment, human capital, entrepreneurship, as well as social attitudes and legal situation when it comes to LGBTQ+ inclusiveness.

The most inclusive and competitive cities are Amsterdam, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Copenhagen, Dublin, Helsinki, London, New York City, San Francisco, Stockholm, Sydney, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington D.C, and Zurich.

Out of all the 144 cities on the list, Manila figures at the low middle of the ranking alongside Bangkok, Belgrade, Brasilia, Dehli, Durban, Ho Chi Minh City, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, Monterrey, and Panama City.

In Asia, the cities that made it among the highest ranked are Hong Kong and Taipei. Taipei notably became the first nation in Asia to legalize same-sex marriages on May 24, 2019. On the lowest end of the ranking are Dubai, Moscow, and Cairo, to name a few.

Check out the full ranking here.

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Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor of Esquire Philippines.
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