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Tampa basks in good Fortune

Tampa is one of the best cities in the world for transacting business.

That's according to Fortune magazine's sixth annual survey of The Best Cities for Business.

Tampa did not crack the list of the top 10 cities in the world. But it is among 50 others listed alphabetically that were cited for their healthy business climates.

Tampa got points for its comparatively low cost of living and office rental rates. The city also earned three out of a maximum five points for "openness to other cultures."

And in a slightly inaccurate portrayal of the city's geography, the magazine noted that Tampa is the "only Best City where you can fish for tarpon downtown."

The survey, which appears in the Nov. 14 edition that hits the newsstands Monday, was broadened for the first time to encompass cities outside the United States.

Despite its sky-high rents, traffic-clogged streets and the pending reversion to Communist China, Hong Kong ranked first, largely because of its unique access to the world's fastest-growing economy. New York, London and Atlanta rounded out the top four. Miami was rated 10th.

The cities were analyzed for their growth potential, business costs, barriers to entry and overall cultural acceptance.

More than 500 corporate executives in 32 countries were asked to rank cities in eight regions of the world with regard to the best places to operate their own businesses. Economic development organizations in 60 cities also were surveyed to determine the quality of their business support programs.

_ Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.

Best cities for business

Good location, strong telecommunications and low business taxes make Hong Kong the world's best place to do business, says Fortune magazine. The top picks:

Rank City Population +Cost-of-living Annual office rental

index rate per square foot

1 Hong Kong 5,932,000 148 $96.31

2 New York 7,312,000 108 31.25

3 London 6,677,000 135 49.40

4 Atlanta 395,000 96 20.00

5 Chicago 2,768,000 101 25.57

6 Singapore 2,792,000 156 7.00

7 Toronto 635,000 107 27.00

8 San Francisco 729,000 106 24.44

9 Frankfurt 654,000 161 45.29

10 Miami 367,000 97 20.43

Source: Fortune magazine +US = 100

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