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China makes London top for investment

London maintains its status as top destination for global foreign direct investment.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

London has been identified as the top ranking city destination by number of global investment projects, according to IBM’s 2010 Global Location Trends report.

Michael Charlton, Chief Executive of Think London, the official foreign direct investment agency for London, said: “London continues to be the location of choice for international business. Over the past year foreign direct investment (FDI) into Europe has contracted but London has bucked the trend, not only in terms of the traditional business and financial services sectors but also with a substantial rise in investment from the emerging markets, and most notably China.”

“Other international cities, including those from the BRIC markets, will continue to try to rival London. We need to ensure London remains the leading option for overseas companies looking to invest. However, none of this will happen by chance and London must continually evolve in order to take advantage of the changing FDI landscape and actively promote itself in the run up to the 2012 Olympic Games,” continued Charlton.

International businesses cite many reasons as to why London is the best city of choice, including access to finance, access to customers and markets, access to the right talent pool, reduction of operating risks and beneficial regulatory environment.

Think London has worked with hundreds of companies helping them successfully set up business in London, including: US-based IT energy management company, Sentilla, who looked to London’s well established sustainability market as a business opportunity;, business-to-business online marketplace from China who was looking to increase brand awareness in the UK and set up a London presence; Terracycle, US company which makes affordable, eco-friendly products from waste materials, who was looking to London as the first step in a wider global expansion plan; and Australian Adstream, provider of digital advertising workflow services, who was looking to break into Europe and moved its headquarters to London, employing almost 80 people.

The IBM report also highlighted how more than ever countries and cities with targeted investment promotion strategies, implemented by strong, focused investment promotion agencies, manage to attract more investment and create more and better jobs for their citizens than those where such efforts are weak, non-existent or diluted.

Think London has worked with over 1,600 companies from 40 countries helping them set up or expand business in London since 1994. Through expert London consultants Think London open up direct access to experienced professionals, who advise and guide overseas companies through every aspect of locating and doing business in London. Think London promotes the capital as the first choice for any business expanding into the UK or Europe – from start-ups to established international companies.

Read the full report here: IBM’s Global Location Trends report 2010

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Published 26 October 2010