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LONDON-London has retained its crown as the most popular busness location in Europe, according the the European Cities Monitor survey from Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker. Paris and Frankfurt remain second and third while Milan moves into Europe’s top ten best cities for location for the first time.

Almost half of the companies interviewed have reviewed their property strategy since 11 September 2001, and the availability of qualified staff has now become the single most important factor for companies when deciding where to locate. Staffing issues have overtaken ‘easy access to markets and customers’ as the most important location factor, with London ranked No. 1.

Other cities scoring highly for the availability of qualified staff are Warsaw (up nine places to 19th), Madrid (up five to 10th) and Dsseldorf (up five to 9th). Manchester is the biggest faller, going down five places.

But David Hutchings, Head of Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker’s European Research Group, warned that London’s position is not impregnable. He said: “Our survey clearly shows that London’s position will be harmed in the medium term if the UK fails to drop the pound and switch to the euro.”

Hutchings also said that with many of the countries in the region on the brink of joining the European Union, Central Europe is the key target for future expansion of European companies.

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