Birmingham ranked in top 20 European Cities of the Future

City’s strategy to attract investment wins place in influential rankings .

Birmingham has been recognised as a leading European destination for foreign investors by fDi Magazine. The city was ranked in the top 20 European Cities of the Future 2014/15 by the influential industry guide – the highest placed of England’s ‘core cities’ – and in the top three for the foreign direct investment (FDI) strategies of large cities, the only English city to feature in this category.

The wider Greater Birmingham and Solihull region was also lauded in the top five for economic potential – the best performing UK region in Europe.

Birmingham featured in the shortlist of five categories in total – including FDI strategy among Northern European Cities and a top five overall listing of large European cities.

The European Cities and Regions of the Future 2014/15 rankings are based on categories including the economic potential, infrastructure and business friendliness of a city or region. Birmingham’s rankings in full:

Top 25 cities overall in European Cities of the Future 2014 – 19th (new entry)

Top 10 large cities overall – 5th (7th in 2012/13)

Top 10 in Northern Cities for FDI strategy – 6th (new entry)

Top 10 in large cities for FDI strategy – 3rd (7th in 2012/13)

Top 10 mid-sized regions for economic potential – Greater Birmingham and Solihull – 4th (only large and small categories in 2012/13)

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council welcomed the news: “Much has been done to build Birmingham’s profile as a leading European investment destination in recent times. Our strategy, which focuses on growing and promoting sectors we have strengths in, those that have the potential to grow globally and the development of a responsive business environment, has helped to make the city an increasingly firm fixture on investor location lists.”

Neil Rami, Chief Executive of Marketing Birmingham, which operates Business Birmingham, the area’s inward investment programme, added: “Birmingham is fast becoming one to watch amongst the investment community. Our strategy to attract investment, matched against the monumental changes planned for the city’s physical landscape, the unprecedented levels of investment going into our transport infrastructure, the quality of our talent pool and the vitality of our young population are drawing investors in to find out more.

“These rankings reflect the city’s growing profile and will be used to attract more interest in the opportunities we have here.”

Specialist trade magazine fDi is a division of the Financial Times Group. Editor-in-chief Courtney Fingar said: “It is a challenging time for FDI in Europe. With sluggish growth in many of the major economies and continuing ill effects from the euro zone crises of last year, inflows into the region have declined. That makes it crucial for Europe’s cities and regions to take a proactive stance towards FDI promotion and to ensure their investment environments are as competitive as possible. Our rankings recognise the locations that are doing just that, and highlight the respective strengths of cities and regions of all sizes across Europe.”

Birmingham was also recently named as the location with the most potential to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) by international industry experts. The city won ‘FDI Destination of the Future’ ahead of locations including Colombia and the Czech Republic, which came second and third respectively at the international FDI Association Awards, held at the 10th Anniversary World Forum for FDI. It was the only UK city to win an award, having been recognised by a panel of business location experts including senior executives from IBM, Jones Lang LaSalle and industry data analyst, FDI Intelligence.

In November, Marketing Birmingham reported that inward investment into Birmingham had created or safeguarded over 4,000 jobs in the city during 2012/13 – generating a £174 million economic impact in the city.

Birmingham secured 41 inward investment projects – the highest on record – during 2012/13, a 52% rise against a national increase of 11%. As well as large global names, it has also attracted smaller firms including Australian online retailer Tinyme and Swiss IT developer Linalis.

The city’s potential as an investment destination will be showcased at next month’s MIPIM – the world’s largest property conference. A delegation of more than 30 partners will outline opportunities to an audience of institutional and private investors, advisers and property experts.