Having recently been named one of the top European destinations for foreign investment, the future is looking particularly bright for the city of Birmingham.
The accolade came from the fDi Magazine, an influential industry guide that reports on the business of globalisation and foreign direct investment (FDI). Their well respected European Cities and Regions of the Future annual rankings are based on categories including economic potential, infrastructure and business friendliness.
Not only has Birmingham been ranked the 19th European city of the future for 2014, it also finished in the top ten in four other categories: overall listing of large European cities (5th), Northern cities for FDI strategy (6th), large cities for FDI strategy (3rd) and mid-sized regions for economic potential (4th)
Business prospects have certainly been good for this English city in the past twelve months; it secured 41 inward investment projects for 2012/13, representing an annual growth of 52 per cent for the city, easily surpassing the national average increase of just 11 per cent.
It attracted investments from both large and small businesses all over the world, including global names such as Deutsche Bank, Jaguar Land Rover, ASOS, and Michelin star-winning restaurant adam’s; smaller firms include Australian online retailer Tinyme and Swiss IT developer Linalis.
In terms of economic impact, Marketing Birmingham has declared that over four thousand jobs had been safeguarded or created in the city.
Additionally, Birmingham has recently been awarded the ‘FDI Destination of the Future’ at the international FDI Association Awards. Columbia and Czech Republic came second and third respectively. The judges for the award included a panel of business location experts.
Yet another point of recognition, research carried out by IBM consultancy in conjunction with the US investor magazine Site Selection found Birmingham to be one of the most competitive cities in the world. Their report titled ‘The World’s Most Competitive Cities: A Global Investor’s Perspective on True City Competitiveness’ ranked Birmingham 36th in terms of business environment, and 43rd for cost competitiveness.
Apart from investments pouring into the city, Birmingham also consolidated its reputation as a place to visit in 2013. The city hosted a number of events which was said to have boosted visitor numbers to record levels, including major industry conferences, the ICC Champions Trophy cricket tournament, the 4 Squares Weekender festival and the 13th Frankfurt Christmas Market.
According to Marketing Birmingham, 33.8 million holiday makers visited last year, representing an increase of 11% over the past six years.