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        London ‘the best place to do business in the world’

        London ‘the best place to do business in the world’

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          A new study has identified London as being one of the top cities in the world in which to conduct business.

          The UK capital has climbed from fourth last year to rank top – in a virtual tie with New York – in the fifth edition of ‘Cities of Opportunity’, a major global study published by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

          According to the Big Four consultancy, a “spectacular year” of sporting triumph and the success of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games has reaffirmed London’s status in international markets.

          “London has emerged as a city with strengths in such indicators as economic clout, ease of doing business and attraction as an international gateway,” PwC stated.

          The survey examined the social and economic performance of 27 of the world’s leading cities and named London in the top ten in all bar two of the ten indicators.

          The city also ranked highly in terms of cultural vibrancy, intellectual capital and innovation, and with a strong transportation network and infrastructure.

          David Snell, partner in PwC’s London practice, said 2012 really has been “an extraordinary year” in the history of the city.

          “There is no doubt that London continues to be a leading global financial centre and an easy place to do business,” he stated.

          “But it is not just a city for financial services. London excels in cultural areas too, as we saw in this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, which really shone a light on what we do so well here in infrastructure and the cultural life of our city.”

          Mr Snell claimed that London performs “consistently well” across a broad range of measures.

          But looking to the future, if we are to continue to be a high-performing city we need to consider whether we are planning adequately for the challenges that lie ahead,” he added.

          The expert said planners need to be looking at major infrastructure improvements and connectivity to maintain London’s current edge.

          London has long been seen as a good place to do business – hence the popularity of serviced offices in the capital and other commercial property.

          And based upon the findings of a new study, the ongoing economic downturn and eurozone crisis are having little bearing on the status of the city in the global world of business.

          Research conducted by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and KPMG suggests that companies continue to view London as being an ideal place to construct a business.

          The number of firms rating London as a good place to do business has risen from 83 per cent in December 2011 to 86 per cent – offering a seal of approval for the capital.

          Among small and medium-sized companies the increase is even greater – from 74 per cent in December to 81 per cent in the latest CBI/KPMG study.

          Meanwhile, the number of respondents who believe London’s status will be at least the same or will have improved in five years has increased from 78 per cent to 83 per cent.

          This is the highest percentage since December 2006 when the index reached 88 per cent – showing that firms in the metropolis have confidence in their city.

          Companies highlighted the same strengths as of six months ago, with access to skills, the global markets and customers being London’s main competitive advantages.

          However businesses said they wanted to see improvements on costs, transport and tax issues, in order to support their long-term growth.

          Richard Reid, London chairman of KPMG, said it is “encouraging” that the number of London companies rating the capital as a good place to do business has increased from six months ago, especially among smaller firms.

          “The ease of access to global markets, talent pool and proximity to customers are factors which consistently impress companies based in the capital,” he stated.

          “Generally businesses are happier with transport in London, improvements on the Tube are very welcome and many large rail projects are already underway – which will all enhance the ability to do business in our domestic markets.”

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