Amsterdam unchanged fifth best European city to locate

In todayÂ's published European City Monitor 2002, Amsterdam is still in fifth spot for the best city to locate your busines. In the overall rating of best cities for business the top cities of London, Paris, Frankfurt, Brussels, Amsterdam and Barcelona remained unchanged. For the first time, the availability of qualified staff is seen as the single most important factor.

♦ The leading cities all score more highly than last year, widening the gap between the top five and the rest.
♦ Madrid (8th to 7th) and Milan (11th to 8th) move up within the top 10.
♦ The other cities to move up this year are: Dublin (13th to 12th), Düsseldorf (17th to 13th), Stockholm (15th to 14th), Prague (21st to 16th), Rome (25th to 22nd), Warsaw (27th to 26th), and Athens (29th to 28th).
♦ In terms of international representation, the other cities threatening to break into the top 30 are all Spanish: Valencia, Bilbao and Seville.

Impact on business
♦ Companies were asked which of a series of factors was most likely to impact on their business over the next ten years. The performance of the US economy is seen to be much the most significant factor.
♦ Two years ago companies suggested the Internet would be the most important factor, but it is now seen as less significant.
♦ September 11th has affected corporate thinking with almost half of all companies having revised their property strategy in some way. The most common actions taken have been a review of contingency planning, and more security features.

The key factors in deciding where to locate
♦ For the first time, the availability of qualified staff is seen as the single most important factor.
♦ Perhaps because of this, the quality of life for employees - though still comparatively lowly rated - is also seen as being of growing importance.
♦ Otherwise, communication factors remain very important.
♦ Cost factors come next, with quality of life factors the least significant.
♦ London is the top rated city for the availability of qualified staff, for all the communication factors, for availability of office space and for languages spoken.
♦ Dublin again comes top for the climate created by government, Prague for the cost of staff, Barcelona for the value for money of offices and quality of life, and Stockholm for freedom from pollution.

The future political and financial capitals
♦ Brussels maintains its clear lead as perceived future political capital as Berlin, its only serious rival, slips.
♦ London too extends its lead over Frankfurt as the future financial capital.
♦ While the UK staying out of the eurozone has not harmed LondonÂ's position to date, most believe it will do so over the medium term.
♦ Most companies, wherever based, have a finance or treasury function within the eurozone, with 10% having recently located within the eurozone.

Company expansion
♦ Warsaw is the city that can expect the biggest influx of companies over the next five years.
♦ Budapest, Prague, London and Moscow are also part of companiesÂ' expansion plans.
♦ While expansion plans within Europe are down a little on last year, companies are nominating more cities worldwide.
♦ Shanghai, followed by São Paulo, Bejing and New York lead the way.
♦ Half of all the companies have changed a location of one of their sites in the past twelve months. UK and Spanish companies are most likely to have done so.
♦ Most changes have been relocations within the same city and for expansion reasons. London, Paris, Milan and Madrid have seen the most moves.
♦ Administrative premises are the most common premises to have moved and Research and Development premises the least likely.

The best cities to locate a business today
London maintains its leading position while Madrid and Milan move up in the top 10. The small differences in scores of cities outside the top 6 means that slight changes in score can produce a movement of several place

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