Top cities for EU business are located increasingly farther

LONDON | The best urban centres in Europe to do business are London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Berlin, Barcelona, Madrid, Brussels, Munich and Zurich, in an order provided by the new edition of Cushman & Wakefield’s survey on Europe’s major business cities.

The study is

“an overview of the perceptions that corporations have about cities across Europe and their relative attractiveness, and how perceptions have changed over that time.

“The underlying data was researched independently for Cushman & Wakefield by TNS BMRB and senior executives from 501 European companies gave their views on Europe’s leading business cities.”

For those in the know, there is little here to be surprised, because London, Paris and Frankfurt have occupied the top three cities for doing business since the survey was first undertaken in 1990. The composition of the top five has changed, though, with Amsterdam and Berlin replacing Barcelona and Brussels, which have slipped down to positions 6 and 8, respectively. The numbers are even less of an unforeseen consequence if we consider that

“For the third year running, the most important factor in deciding where to locate is ‘easy access to markets, customers or clients’ with 60% stating that this is absolutely essential. More than half of respondents believe that ‘availability of quality staff’ and ‘Quality of telecommunications’ are both equally as important, while ‘transport links with other cities and internationally’ has fallen in people’s perception of importance.”

London is recognised as the city working the most to promote itself, followed by Barcelona, which was nominated by 17% of respondents. The top 5 is completed by Paris, Berlin and Madrid.

But their competition is rising from other quarters:

“The number of European companies who state that they may consider expansion is up on the previous year, with the focus remaining firmly on the BRIC economies. Shanghai remains the favoured destination, with 40 companies anticipating expansion there over the next five years. Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo also remain popular.”

It looks as though it’s time for the Old Continent to learn new tricks.

About the Author

Victor Jimenez
London contributor at thecorner.eu, reporting about the City and the Eurozone economies. He regularly writes for Spanish newspaper group Prensa Ibérica--some of his features include shared work with journalists of The Daily Telegraph and the BBC.

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