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Prague - The 13th Favourite Business Location In Europe
14 Nov, 2005, Prague
Prague has maintained its 13th position in the ranking of Europe's top business locations. The main strengths of our capital include the business climate, the relatively low cost of staff and good value for money of office space. This is according to European Cities Monitor, an annual survey issued by Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker, the European division of the leading global property consultant Cushman & Wakefield.
London has long been Europe's No 1 business location, followed by Paris, Frankfurt and Brussels. The Spanish cities Barcelona and Madrid have been edging towards the top of the ranking for some time. This year, Amsterdam failed for the first time to get into the top five, yielding fifth place to Barcelona. This is the first time that the top five of the ECM ranking has changed since C&W/H&B first carried out the survey in 1990.
"Barcelona and Madrid have both carried out important measures for their improvement, ranging from investment in transport infrastructure to workforce education. Today, their efforts can be seen to have paid off and the two cities are perceived as top business locations," says Jonathan Hallett, Partner and Managing Director of Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker in Prague.
"Gratifying for Prague is the fact that, after Barcelona, it was evaluated as the city doing the most to improve its business environment. Prague's reputation among foreign companies is strong, with 34 firms planning to expand here over the next five years," says Andrew Thompson, Head of the office leasing team at C&W/H&B in Prague
The European Cities Monitor ranking is the result of a survey among five hundred managers of Europe's leading companies and has been carried out annually by C&W/H&B since 1990. It monitors factors relevant to companies' decision-making concerning which locations to expand to such as easy access to markets, cost, education and language skills of the local workforce, transport, telecommunications, value for money of office space, freedom from pollution, etc. "Easy access to markets is considered by foreign managers as the major factor when making decisions about expanding into new territories. It is important that when it comes to this indicator.
Prague has advanced from 25th to 21st place. There is still, however, plenty of room for improvement," says Andrew Thompson. "Prague's slight improvement is also taken note of by interviewees when it comes to transport, telecommunications, availability of office space, external transport links and the environment," Thompson adds.
On the other hand, decline has been recorded as regards workforce qualifications, language skills and cost of staff. Prague has also dropped from second to third place in the category of value for money of office space. "However, in this indicator Prague still ranks among the top three cities in Europe, and that's important," Thompson emphasises.
Warsaw has maintained last year's position, while Budapest has risen two places from 23rd to 21st. Prague's ranking surpasses that of business locations such as Hamburg, Vienna, Lyons and Rome.
Twenty-five per cent of interviewees say that the growth of India and China as markets for their company is the factor that will have the greatest impact on their business over the next five years. The performance of Euro economies, competition from Asia and the performance of the US economy are also important factors.
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