London increases its lead over Paris as top city to locate business in Europe
12 Oct, 2007, Brussels
London has once again increased its margin over Paris as Europe’s top city to locate a business according to European Cities Monitor (ECM), the annual location survey of Europe’s leading companies carried out by global real estate consultant Cushman & Wakefield. The UK capital is the top-rated city for half of the 12 factors which are ranked to give the overall league table. This year, London has improved its scores in areas including climate created by government (up three places to No 2). However, it fell nine places to 25th for cost of staff. European Cities Monitor (ECM) is based on interviews with senior managers and board directors in charge of location of 500 top European companies. It looks at factors regarded as important by companies when deciding where to locate, and then compares the performance of 33 of Europe’s leading business cities on each factor. Availability of qualified staff, considered an ‘absolutely essential’ factor by 62 per cent of respondents, has overtaken access to markets as being the most important factor to consider when locating a business. In third place is quality of telecommunications, which this year overtakes external transport links. Regarding London’s position, James Young, Head of the City of London office of Cushman & Wakefield, comments: “From year to year London is consolidating its position as part of an elite group of global cities, together with New York and Tokyo. With the Olympic Games on the horizon in 2012, providing there is no major global economic downturn, London’s future seems to be only in one direction – up.” In last year’s ECM, London achieved a weighted score of 0.91, which has now increased to 0.92, while Paris’ has gone from 0.59 to 0.57. Back in 1990, the first year of the annual survey, London’s score was 0.81 and Paris’ 0.66. Behind London and Paris comes Frankfurt, and then the closely grouped cities of Barcelona, Amsterdam and Brussels, with Amsterdam just overtaking Brussels this year.
Brussels and Amsterdam.
Brussels remains one of the favourite cities for business.Although the average score for Brussels has gone up from 0.24 to 0.25, the city loses fifth position to Amsterdam.These results are partly due to a huge business promotion campaign by the city of Amsterdam in the past year. Amsterdam’s position has risen in all categories, but the most significant progress is recorded in the category of staffing costs, the price/quality relationship of buildings, and urban transport. Brussels holds on to its position of third place in the category of languages spoken and where best access is available to foreign markets, and is still among the top 5 of European cities in terms of national and international transport.
Of all the regional cities, Geneva has recorded the clearest rise.
The three biggest risers in the ranking are all regional cities: Geneva, Lyon and Manchester. Elaine Rossall, the author of ECM and C&W’s Head of Business Space Research & Consultancy, explains: “Regional cities are increasingly becoming more business oriented, and are proving that you don’t have to be a capital to attract business. They are also benefiting from a more cost-conscious business world, with, as the survey shows, a third of those interviewed saying that to offset rising operational costs they would either relocate to another destination in the same country or another lower-cost international destination.” Geneva is the biggest riser in the overall ranking, up eight places to 12th, reflecting significant rises in the individual rankings for access to markets (up 13 places to 14th), telecommunications (up 11 to 9th), external transport (up seven to 15th) and quality of life (up seven to second). Robert Curzon Price, Head of Client Solutions of C&W’s Alliance Partner in Switzerland SPG Intercity says: “Geneva is geographically in the heart of Europe and has excellent communication links with other cities and countries, while when it comes to quality of life – a key factor in attracting expatriate workers – it comes second only to Barcelona.”