A worsening telecommunications infrastructure perception has meant that Dublin has fallen to 19th place from 16th place last year in this year’s European Cities Monitor, a survey of 501 business leaders has found. Overall, the city has retained its rank of 12th best city in Europe to locate a business.
The European Cities Monitor 2003, compiled by global real estate agents Cushman & Wakefield Healy & Baker examined the issues companies regard as important in deciding where to locate and compared how Europe’s leading business cities perform on issues ranging from the cost of hiring staff to the quality of telecommunications infrastructure.
While Dublin retained its rank of 12th best city to locate a business, just trailing behind Zurich and ahead of Manchester and Geneva, the city had dropped from 20th place last year to 23rd rank in terms of best cities in which to provide easy access to markets. London held number one position on both counts.
Across the board amongst Europe’s top business professionals, the criteria in choosing cities in which to locate mission critical businesses was led by easy access to markets, customers and clients. This was followed by availability of qualified staff and the quality of telecommunications. In terms of factors that would have the greatest impact on business over the next 10 years, 29pc of business leaders agreed that enlargement of the EU was the major issue, followed by performance of the US economy, competition from Asia and international terrorism. Eleven percent of respondents viewed the internet as having the greatest impact on their businesses over the next 10 years.
Dublin dropped three places from 16th place last year to 19th place this year in terms of the best cities’ quality of telecommunications. London, Paris and Frankfurt are perceived by European business leaders as having the best telecommunications.
In terms of cities doing the best to promote themselves to firms seeking to relocate their businesses, Ireland came in at third place, trailing behind Barcelona and Madrid respectively. However, in terms of cities improving themselves, Dublin ranked in eight place, behind Warsaw and ahead of London. The city best perceived as improving itself was Barcelona.
Access to qualified staff was another issue at the top of most business leaders’ agendas, and Dublin had succeeded in boosting its rank to 10th place from 15th place last year. Dublin also retained 10th place in terms of best cities’ cost of staff, but this was a drop from 6th place last year.
Interestingly, Dublin held number one position across Europe in terms of the climates governments create for business through tax polices and availability of financial incentives. Dublin also held number one rank last year for having the best climate created for business by governments. Second place was held by Prague and third place was held by London. Globally, the best performing cities in this regard were Singapore and Shanghai.
By John Kennedy