Post-Brexit London is the best city for opportunity

london skyline
By Ellen Arnison, ICAS

7 September 2016

London retains the top position as a centre for culture, business and commerce in PwC’s latest Cities of Opportunity Index of 30 major cities.

The Capital is the number one city because of its economic clout, position as a gateway city, ease of doing business, universities, entertainment and innovation.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I'm very pleased that this report reaffirms London as the leading global city in terms of economic importance, intellectual capital and innovation. This is the best city in the world; it’s open for business, creative, entrepreneurial, agile, full of opportunity and a hub for business and leisure travel.”

This is the second consecutive time that London has performed strongly across a range of indicators and the results put it significantly ahead of its closest rivals Singapore, Toronto, Paris and Amsterdam.

Brexit will bring challenges, but it’s important we remain positive. If Brexit has effects on London, they will play out in a process over time in areas like talent mobility, trade and regulation

David Snell, PwC partner in London, said: “Change is ahead and it remains to be seen what impact the UK’s decision to leave the EU will have on our vibrant city. London is one of the world’s leading financial centres and financial services will continue to make a major contribution to the UK economy.

“The sector accounts for 8% of total UK economic activity and directly employs 1.1 million people - around 3.6% of the total UK workforce, generating income, investment and exports. This is a major opportunity for financial services firms to work with regulators, investors and clients in order to shape a new rulebook fit for the new climate.”

City is resilient and agile

London is a major intellectual centre and its focus on innovation and intellectual property is also rewarded with the top position this year, ahead of San Francisco and up from last year’s number two spot.

However, reaching the top doesn’t come without a price. London is the most expensive city for business occupancy and the cost of living. And there is also room for improvement when it comes to sustainability.

David Snell added: “Brexit will bring challenges, but it’s important we remain positive. If Brexit has effects on London, they will play out in a process over time in areas like talent mobility, trade and regulation.

“But it is worth remembering that London is resilient, agile and great at adapting. London is open for business and we must seize the opportunities that lie ahead.”

The top 10 cities of opportunity are:

  1. London
  2. Singapore
  3. Toronto
  4. Paris
  5. Amsterdam
  6. New York
  7. Stockholm
  8. San Francisco
  9. Hong Kong
  10. Sydney

The complete ranking and a copy of the full report are available at PwC's website.

Topics

  • CA life
  • Business

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