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a study of the most promising investment locations in Europe, fDiMagazine –
a Financial Times publication – has crowned London and Nordrhein-Westfalen in
Germany as respective winners of the European City and Region of the Future
2014/15 titles. Ireland does well in having 3 cities in Europe's top 25 but as
with the UK, while locations are attractive for FDI (foreign direct investment),
separate surveys show that they are not among the popular locations for
London demonstrated a clear strategy for
attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) and ranked first place in the
Economic Potential category for major European cities, according to the report. The city also ranked
second in the Infrastructure category, in part due to its forthcoming Crossrail
project – the largest civil engineering project in Europe.
Among large European Regions Nordrhein-Westfalen
ranked first, rising six places from the previous ranking in 2012/13. The region
also ranked third in Economic Potential and second in Human Capital.
Helsinki emerged as a new top entry in the Top
25 European cities category, ranking second. Finland’s capital has been
receiving increased attention for its efforts to attract FDI and scored
particularly well for FDI Strategy. The Dutch city of Eindhoven was also a new entry
to the Top 25, ranking third. The city ranked first in the FDI Strategy category
for small European cities and fourth in the Infrastructure category.
Dublin has a 5th ranking with Cork at 24 and Galway
Last November, HSBC, the global bank, in a
rating of 37 countries based on feedback from over 7,000 expats, put Ireland
last at 24 when all criteria were included, with China, Germany, Singapore and
Cayman Islands in the lead.
When 'Raising children' is unticked in this
interactive chart, Ireland gets a rank of 36, just above Egypt and Thailand,
China, Switzerland and Cayman Islands lead in the sample of 37 countries.
"It is a challenging time for FDI in Europe.
With sluggish growth in many of the major economies and continuing ill effects
from the euro zone crises of last year, inflows into the region have declined.
That makes it crucial for Europe's cities and regions to take a proactive stance
towards FDI promotion and to ensure their investment environments are as
competitive as possible. Our rankings recognise the locations that are doing
just that, and highlight the respective strengths of cities and regions of all
sizes across Europe," said Courtney Fingar, editor-in-chief of fDi Magazine.
The fDi says London
demonstrated significant FDI attraction – particularly in the software and
IT, business services, and financial services sectors.
Nordrhein-Westfalen’s high GDP and inflation rate of 2.5% helped to rank the
region third in the Economic Potential category.
highlighted its focus on three key areas to promote investment: “Research,
development and innovation; growth capital and hi-tech start-ups; and
transnational functions, such as sea and air links.”
ranked first in the FDI Strategy category for small European cities, thanks
in part to its offer of incubation facilities, as well as its provision of
‘soft-landing’ services, which allow investors to establish links and
develop a base in the city.
European cities, Dutch locations were well-represented in the Infrastructure
category, with Amsterdam ranking first and Rotterdam third. Both cities’
positions in this category were boosted by their country’s developed
communications and transport networks.
level the Cost Effectiveness category was predominantly made up of eastern
European locations. Macedonia’s Ohrid-Struga ranked first and Bulgaria’s
Stara Zagora came second, while Serbian regions claimed three of the overall
Top 10 European places.
On the whole,
UK cities and regions performed well in fDi Magazine’s
European Cities and Regions of the Future 2014/15, claiming top city and
second place regionally.
To create a shortlist for the
fDi European Cities and
Regions of the Future
2014/2015, the fDi Intelligence
division of the Financial
Times collected data
using the specialist online
FDI tools fDi Benchmark
and fDi Markets, as well as
Data was collected for
468 locations, both cities
and regions, in five categories:
Human Capital and Lifestyle,
Infrastructure and Business
Friendliness. In addition,
surveys were collected
under a sixth category, FDI
Strategy, for which there
were 180 submissions. In
this category, locations
submitted details about
their strategy for promoting
FDI, which was then
scored by fDi’s judging
panel. Locations scored up
to a maximum of 10 points
for each datapoint, which
were weighted by importance
to the FDI decision making
process in order to
compile both the subcategory
rankings, as well as
the overall European Cities
and Regions of the Future
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