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Amsterdam improves business climate, but drops slightly in ranking

DutchAmsterdam.nl — Amsterdam has dropped from 6th to 8th place in a ranking of best European cities in which to establish a new business location.

Produced by real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, the European Cities Monitor is an annual survey on Europe’s major business cities.

The survey, based on interviews with 500 top business leaders, provides an overview of the perceptions that corporate occupiers have about cities across Europe and their relative attractiveness.

London, Paris and Frankfurt remain the top three cities for business. These three cities have held the top three positions since the survey started back in 1990.

The top five cities remain the same overall, but Barcelona edges above Brussels into fourth place with an improved score over the year.

During the past few years Amsterdam fluctuated between positions 4 and 6. This year the city was overtaken by Munich and Madrid.

Amsterdam’s lower ranking is not really the result of a worsening business establishment climate, but rather a of the fact that other cities have enjoyed a stronger development process.

Four Top Factors In Deciding Where To Locate

According to the report, the top four factors in deciding where to locate remain some way ahead in terms of their importance, although the order has slightly changed
this year.

Easy access to markets, customers or clients replaces availability of quality staff as the most important factor. These two factors are followed by quality of telecommunications which edges further ahead of transport links with other cities and internationally.

When ranked in terms of easy access to markets, customers or clients, Amsterdam fell from 5th to 9th place.

The city moved from 10th to 7th place when it comes to quality of telecommunications, and retained 5th place for the availability of qualified staff. However, the city fell from position 18 to position 25 when ranked according to the cost of personnel.

In terms of transport links with other cities and internationally Amsterdam remained in 4th place.

Other Factors

The city gained three places, moving from ranking 17 to 14 for availability of office space, but in the ranking of value for money of office space Amsterdam fell from the 12th to the 18th spot.

Ranked according to the climate governments create for business through tax policies and availability of financial incentives, Amsterdam moved up five places — from 12 to 7. However, the city slipped from position 8 to position 12 when ranked by perceived quality of life for employees.

Amsterdam Needs To Better Promote Itself

When companies were asked how well they know each of the cities as a business location fewer respondents were familiar with Amsterdam as a business city. Even so, nineteen companies indicated they expect to locate in Amsterdam within the next five years.

Dirk Sosef, of Cushman & Wakefield’s Amsterdam branch, told local newspaper Het Parool that the city’s business climate has improved, but that other cities have improved in a stronger fashion.

According to Sosef Madrid, Barcelona and Munich were better at promoting their cities than Amsterdam. Madrid benefited from its candidacy for the Olympic Games of 2016.

“Amsterdam must make clear about the things that distinguish the city: the international accessibility of Schiphol airport, the highly educated personnel, and the variety of languages spoken,” Sosef says.

In addition the city should pay attention to the accessibility in and around Amsterdam. — DutchAmsterdam.nl

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