Warsaw, Poland has been named by the 20th annual European Cities Monitor as the city which can expect the biggest influx of companies in the next five years, replacing Moscow in popularity which has fallen to second place. 36 of Europe's largest companies named Warsaw as the European city in which they intended to next expand, up from 28 in 2008. 35 companies named Moscow, down from 44 in 2008.
The findings, in Cushman & Wakefield's influential survey of 500 of Europe's largest companies, also names Birmingham, UK as the best performing city this year moving up seven places to be named as the 14th best European city for business. London is once again ranked the best business city in Europe, a position it has held every year since the survey started in 1990. Paris and Frankfurt are again ranked 2nd and 3rd.
European Cities Monitor is based on interviews with senior managers and board directors in charge of location for 500 of Europe's largest companies. From this research it produces an overall ranking of which European city is considered by the business community to be 'best for business' and the 'best city in which to locate a business today'. In addition to the overall ranking, 34 cities are ranked against a number of criteria such as quality of life, telecommunications, access to markets, availability and quality of staff, cost of office space and transport links.
In its 20th year, 2009's European Cities Monitor features a special analysis of the performance of cities since 1990. All of the key central and eastern European cities have seen increases in their position, most buoyed by EU accession, with Prague and Warsaw the biggest risers to 21st and 23rd respectively moving up from their positions at the bottom of the ranking in 1990.
The Spanish cities of Barcelona and Madrid have also performed especially well with both ranking in the 2009 ranking at 4th and 6th respectively. In 1990 neither even made the top ten and were ranked at 11 and 17 respectively. Barcelona's hosting of the 1992 Olympic Games boosted its position the following year when it rose three places and first entered the top ten. It has remained within the top ten ever since. Similarly, Manchester's hosting of the Commonwealth Games in 2002 saw it rise from 19th to 13th in 2003. It is 16th this year.
European Cities Monitor 2009: The 10 best cities in which to locate a business today
Rank 2009 (2008) City
1. (1) London
2. (2) Paris
3. (3) Frankfurt
4. (5) Barcelona
5. (4) Brussels
6. (7) Madrid
7. (9) Munich
8. (6) Amsterdam
9. (8) Berlin
10. (13) Milan
Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, Mayor of Warsaw, said: "Warsaw is a financial and political centre of the country, which makes it a good and reliable partner in long-term investments. The rise in Cushman & Wakefield's ranking proves that the Polish capital is an investor-friendly city and has continued its dynamic growth. Warsaw appears resilient to the global crisis and successfully implements strategic investments, maintaining the investment budget at the record level."
Richard Petersen, managing partner of Cushman & Wakefield in Poland, said: "Foreign investors' interest in Poland has increased steadily since the 1990s and was further stimulated by accession to the EU in 2004. Warsaw ranks high among European capitals in terms of cost of qualified staff, low cost and availability of office space and a positive business climate created by government. Throughout the recent market turmoil, Poland has maintained a positive GDP growth and forecasts indicate that this will continue into 2010. This in turn will provide favourable conditions for a rapid market recovery in the real estate sector during next year."
London is ranked the number one city in half of the 12 major rankings including access to markets, availability of qualified staff and international and internal transport links. It scores p