Home News London still best European city for business

London still best European city for business

Published on November 13, 2008

13 November 2008

Once again, London tops the best European city for business in 2008 although second-ranking city Paris is closing in on the gap, according to the annual European Cities Monitor released in October

The UK capital ranks first with a high score of 0.80, while Paris and Frankfurt come in second and third with scores of 0.57 and 0.32.

Each score provides a comparison with other cities’ scores and over time for the same city. The score is derived from the nominations for best, second best and third best.

Brussels leaps from sixth to rank fourth this year. Barcelona takes fifth place, followed by Amsterdam and Madrid.  

The Swiss cities of Zurich and Geneva both move up, with Zurich overtaking Geneva in 2008 to take 10th position.  

The European Cities Monitor, which is drawn up by Cushman & Wakefield, is based on the survey responses of senior executives from the top 500 companies in Europe across 34 cities.  

The monitor takes 12 criteria into account; availability of qualified staff, easy access to markets, customers or clients, the quality of telecommunications, transport links with other cities and internationally, cost of staff, the business climate created by governments, value for money of office space, languages spoken, availability of office space, ease of travelling around within the city, the quality of life for employees and freedom from pollution.

Here’s how the major cities in Expatica’s six countries fared:  

Brussels moves up two positions to claim the title of fourth best city to do business in. The Belgian capital moves up from seventh to sixth place in recruiting qualified staff. It maintains its third position in terms of languages spoken, just behind Amsterdam which ranks second, with London in first place.  

Among the five cities – Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Dusseldorf and Hamburg – which were included in the survey, Frankfurt is still the top German city to conduct business in. Berlin ranks eighth, Munich ninth, Dusseldorf 12th with Hamburg’s placing at 17th ranking it as the lowest ranking German city surveyed.  

Frankfurt ranks high in hiring qualified staff (third) and speaking English (fourth).
Munich, which climbs four places to become the second best city to offer quality of life for employees, is seen, however, as becoming more polluted, dropping two positions in this category to ninth place. 

Amsterdam is the sixth best city to do business in and ranks second in the most multi-lingual cities category for the second year running. The Dutch capital scores higher in hiring qualified staff (fifth place), offering quality of life (eighth place) and being pollution free (eighth place). However, its rank plummets from fourth to ninth for ease of travelling around the city.  

Barcelona dropped a notch to fifth place, but consolidates its position as the top city offering the best quality of life. Madrid and Barcelona share fifth place for easiest cities to travel around.  

Zurich rises substantially from being the 13th to the tenth best city for business in 2008, while Geneva rises from 12th to 11th place. Zurich and Geneva are amongst the top five for cleanest cities and for offering the best quality of life for employees. However, the two cities score lower in internal transport and hiring qualified staff.  


Top 10 cities and their scores
  1. London – 0.80
  2. Pairs – 0.57
  3. Frankfurt  – 0.32
  4. Brussels  – 0.28
  5. Barcelona – 0.26 
  6. Amsterdam – 0.24
  7. Madrid – 0.22
  8. Berlin – 0.20
  9. Munich – 0.20
  10. Zurich – 0.13

[SO, Expatica]