Its not the most recent of news but I was browsing through the Cushman & Wakefield “European Cities Monitor 2011” – it looks at the attractiveness to business of the key European business hubs after I picked up a reference to it in a report by Benoit Felton and caught him debating the merits of city-level analysis over country-level tables on Twitter. So – what factor affect business location choices?

In the C&W survey, they found “Easy access to markets, customers or clients” remains the most important factor, followed by “Availability of quality staff” and “Quality of telecommunications“.

London tops their table, consistently and across the board – including in telecoms:

20112010
London1.271.44
Paris0.890.81
Frankfurt0.700.64
Stockholm0.540.48

This subset of the table showing the scores specifically for telecommunications, broadly mirrors the overall table – London tops the table followed by Paris and Frankfurt but with a narrowing margin as each year passes.

While London’s access to markets is considered to be improving year-on-year, widening the gap with competitor cities, the availability of quality of staff and the quality of telecommunications is considered to be declining in international terms. While each of London’s closest rivals also saw reduced levels of quality staff, Paris and Frankfurt were considered to have increasingly competitive telecommunications offerings.

At this rate of decline, it will take some time before London is knocked off the top spot but it highlights the importance of telecommunications to the localtion of businesses.

Bringing this to the fore is Stockholm – 13th overall but they manage 4th in the telecommunications leagues table. Stockholm’s overall attractiveness to business is heavily distorted by a single factors – broadband.

Thanks for Benoit Felton for pointing this research out.

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