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LONDON-London emerged as Europe’s most popular business location, ahead of Paris and Frankfurt, in the latest European Cities Monitor survey by Healey & Baker. Brussels, Amsterdam and Barcelona completed the top six out of the 30 European cities ranked in the survey.

Healey & Baker – the European arm of Cushman & Wakefield – questioned executives from 500 international businesses about the factors affecting their choice of location. London came top in all four of the factors considered essential for locating a business: easy access to markets, customers or clients; the availability of qualified staff; external transport links and telecommunications. It was also ranked first for languages spoken, ahead of Amsterdam and Brussels.

London came second to Dublin in terms of government support for business, second to Berlin for availability of office space and second to Paris for public transport. But on the downside, London scored 15th for value for money of office space and 25th in terms of freedom from pollution.

Healey & Baker Director Martin Newman said: ‘London has maintained its position at the top of the European Cities Monitor through a mixture of its traditional strengths and its own active self-promotion. Cities are brands and should promote themselves as such. London has recognised this.’

Respondents were also asked for their views on the UK’s refusal to join European Monetary Union. The majority felt the UK’s position had not harmed London so far, but felt that it would do over the medium term. But London is still extending its lead over Frankfurt as the perceived financial capital of Europe.

The companies were also asked to identify the factors most likely to influence their business over the next 10 years. Even before 11 September, the performance of the US economy was seen as the most important factor, followed by the enlargement of the EU. But as a sign of the times, the Internet–last year’s most important factor–was rated only third in 2001.

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