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London and Paris named as Europe’s best cities for business
7 Oct, 2008, Amsterdam
London and Paris have been named as Europe’s best cities for business while Moscow can expect the biggest influx of companies over the next five years. The findings in the 19th annual European Cities Monitor report from global real estate consultant Cushman & Wakefield also named Barcelona as the city with the highest quality of life with cities as diverse as Brussels, Zurich, Dusseldorf and Manchester all rising significantly in the rankings.
The annual report is based on interviews with senior managers and board directors in charge of location for 500 of Europe’s largest companies. In addition to the overall ranking, 34 cities are ranked against a number of criteria such as transport links, telecommunications, access to markets, availability and quality of staff, cost of office space and quality of life.
Brussels enters into the top five of the overall ranking (up to 4th from 6th) at the expense of Barcelona and Amsterdam which move down to 5th and 6th respectively. Frankfurt is ranked 3rd. The biggest risers are all regional cities including Zurich (up to 10th from 13th), Dusseldorf (up to 12th from 16th) and Manchester (up to 14th from 18th).
London is ranked the number one city since the first year the survey was carried out (1990) and scores best in half of the 12 major rankings including access to markets, availability of qualified staff and international and internal transport links. It scores poorly, however, on the cost of staff, the cost of office space and levels of pollution.
European Cities Monitor also asked companies which were the key factors when deciding where to relocate their business. The availability of qualified staff came ahead of easy access to markets, customers or clients as the single most important factor with telecommunications marginally ahead of national and international transport links.
Since the survey started Amsterdam belongs to the top six business cities in Europe. This year Amsterdam moves down from the 5th to the 6th place of the ranking but the picture of the past years continues. London, Paris and Frankfurt form a top tier of business cities which are unlikely to be seriously challenged in the near future, with Amsterdam competing for the 4th, 5th and 6th place of the ranking with Barcelona and Brussels. Baldwin Poolman, Managing Partner Cushman & Wakefield in Amsterdam: “Amsterdam is still acknowledged as a good business location, but to keep this position it becomes increasingly important to distinguish oneself and city marketing will continue to play a major part in this.”
Amsterdam scores very well on the availability of qualified staff, the most important key factor in deciding where to locate. Amsterdam moves from 6th to 5th place for this factor and also moves up for quality of life and freedom from pollution. Poolman continues: “It is a very good sign that Amsterdam scores better on the ‘softer’ factors which are becoming increasingly important in today’s knowledge economy and for the attraction of Amsterdam as a business location.”
Amsterdam also scores well on the following factors:
Amsterdam scores poorly on the following factors:
For the survey companies were also asked which cities they think are doing the most to actually improve themselves. Amsterdam scores better on this than previous years.
Those surveyed also said that fears over the performance of the European economy followed by the growth of Central & Eastern Europe are the factors most likely to impact their business over the next ten years. More than a fifth of companies had outsourced operations overseas in the last 12 months with the new EU member states the most popular destination closely followed by India.
European Cities Monitor 2008: The
10 best cities in which to locate a business today