Hong Kong is no longer the safest city in China thanks to the recent street protests.
However, it remains one of the most competitive, second only to Shanghai, according to the 2014 China Urban Competitiveness Report.
Taipei dislodged Hong Kong as the safest Chinese city despite a student takeover of parliament this past summer which came to be known as the Sunflower Movement.
The Sunflower Movement “did not substantially hurt the city in terms of economy and social order”, Gui Qiangfang, chairman of the China Institute of City Competitiveness, which conducted the survey, told reporters in Hong Kong Thursday.
By contrast the 79-day street occupation by pro-democracy protesters upended social order, Gui said.
The results were based on several criteria — no major security incident, good social order and investment environment, few production accidents and good consumer product safety, among others.
Hong Kong slipped behind Shanghai in competitiveness for the second straight year and the the gap is growing, Gui said.
Shanghai benefited from preferential policies and support from the central government in its economic development.
Beijing was the third most competitive city, followed by Shenzhen and Guangzhou.
In a sub-list of potential growth competitiveness, Hong Kong fell to 13th from 11th in 2013. It took 10th place in 2012.
Wei Dazhi, vice chairman of the institute, expects Hong Kong to fall further if it fails to optimize its industrial infrastructure and find strong growth engines.
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