Birmingham named Western Europe’s most competitive city for investment

City features in eight industry sectors of World’s Most Competitive Cities report.

Birmingham is the highest-performing city in Western Europe for its competitiveness in attracting inward investment, according to a new report by specialist locations magazine Site Selection.

In the World’s Most Competitive Cities Report 2015 – which ranks urban areas across the world by industry experts – Birmingham is listed in eight key sectors judged important to the global economy. These include automotive, business & financial services, food & beverage and transportation & logistics, all of which have been targeted by inward investment agency Business Birmingham as key sectors to deliver the greatest growth prospects for the city.

Birmingham’s average position places it higher than Western European rival cities Dublin, Barcelona, London and Berlin. UK cities Manchester and Liverpool are each listed for one sector.

Neil Rami, Chief Executive of Marketing Birmingham, which operates Business Birmingham, said: “As competition between locations to attract investment continues to intensify, this report cements Birmingham’s standing as a highly attractive international business destination across many high-growth sectors.

“Birmingham can be very proud of these rankings, but its challenge is to keep the momentum going. By investing record amounts on its transport links and building an unprecedented amount of modern office space, the city has emerged as a very popular location in which businesses can thrive.”

The Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP area secured 73 foreign direct investment projects last year, creating some 4,800 new jobs – making it the most successful LEP in the UK for inward investment. Projects include the expansion of Chicago-based hydraulic manufacturing firm HydraForce into a new 120,000 sq ft factory in Birmingham’s Advanced Manufacturing Hub.

Peter Macdonald, Managing Director at HydraForce, added: “The Advanced Manufacturing Hub was the ideal site for us because it’s logistically well-placed and very close to our previous premises at St Stephen’s Street in Aston, which made it relatively easy for our staff to move with us.

“This new location in the Advanced Manufacturing Hub will help us bring new electrohydraulic technology to the European market faster than ever before. It improves our global efficiency and gives us a solid base for continued growth in Europe.”

The World’s Most Competitive Cities Report 2015 is produced by Site Selection, a US-based business magazine, which is circulated internationally to a specialist audience of more than 47,000 senior, decision-making executives.