EIU Report: European and U.S. Cities Are World’s Most Competitive

A new Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) research report, commissioned by Citi, reveals that European cities are the world’s most competitive, with London ranking first in competitiveness in Europe and second globally, out of 120 of the world’s major cities. Released today, the report, entitled Hot Spots, ranks the most competitive cities in the world for their demonstrated ability to attract capital, business, talent and tourists.

With a combined population of about 750 million, the 120 cities ranked in Hot Spots represent approximately 29 percent of the global economy and generated a combined GDP of US$20.24 trillion in 2011.

According to the report, the most competitive cities in Europe are: London (2nd), Paris (joint 4th), Zurich (7th), Frankfurt (11th), Geneva (joint 13th), Amsterdam (17th), Stockholm (joint 20th), Copenhagen (joint 23rd), Vienna (joint 25th), Dublin (27th) and Madrid (28th).

“Attracting the world’s top talent is paramount to fostering growth and innovation for the future and Europe’s cities clearly have the competitive edge,” said Citi EMEA CEO Mike Corbat.  “The demands on cities have never been greater than they are today. We are committed to working with current and emerging urban centers throughout Europe and Africa to help them meet the challenges of urbanization and enable economic progress.”

By the key measure of Economic Strength, two cities in the region, Doha and Abu Dhabi, made it to the top 30 Cities list, while Dubai ranked 10th under the measure of Financial Maturity, and Riyadh came 8th globally as least risky in terms of Environmental and Natural Hazards. “This validates the attractiveness of major cities in the region as world-class metropolises, owing to their relatively stable economies, high rate of investment in physical and human infrastructure, as well as developed financial and commercial status,” said Atiq Ur Rehman, Citi’s Chief Executive Officer for the Middle East.

“Economic dynamism is definitely rising elsewhere, especially in Asian cities, but U.S. and European cities have legacy advantages that give them a strong competitive edge,” said Leo Abruzzese, the EIU’s global forecasting director.  “In particular, these developed cities are better at attracting top talent from across the world.”

For Hot Spots, the EIU developed a “Global City Competitiveness Index” that measures cities across eight distinct categories of competitiveness and 31 individual indicators. Categories include economic strength, human capital, institutional effectiveness, financial maturity, global appeal, physical capital, social and cultural character and environment and natural hazards.

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