London's mayor, Boris Johnson, has said that he is using the city's first place ranking in fDiMagazine's European Cities & Regions of the Future 2012/13 as a promotional tool. Speaking at the InnoTech Summit in London, a networking event for technology start-ups, Mr Johnson said: “I am using [the European Cities & Regions of the Future 2012/2013 award] as a slogan. I am determined to keep the spotlight of international investment on the capital to ensure that London maintains its reputation as the best big city in the world to live, work and do business."
These comments come in the run-up to London's mayoral election, which takes place on May 3, 2012. Mr Johnson has pledged to continue focusing on attracting crossborder ventures to the city should he be re-elected.
The UK capital came first ahead of 273 other European cities in the fDiranking, which focused on criteria such as economic potential, cost-effectiveness, human resources, infrastructure, business-friendliness and FDI promotion strategy. It was the third time in a row that the city has finished top of the ranking.
According to greenfield investment monitor fDiMarkets, in the past eight years London has attracted investment from 637 foreign companies, the most among European cities. In terms of project numbers, the city has attracted 1898 new ventures between 2003 and 2011, slightly fewer than Paris, the leading European city by project numbers, which has recorded 1969 in the same period.
According to London’s mayor, the strength of the city lies in its ability to attract capital, together with its pools of creative talent. Such a combination is especially attractive to blue-chip start-ups, and Mr Johnson described London as “the most important digital ecosystem outside the US”. While addressing the audience at the InnoTech Summit, Mr Johnson said that well-established tech companies are also starting to favour London. As an example, Mr Johnson cited the March 2012 opening of the new Google campus, a seven-floor facility located on the 'Silicon Roundabout', a creative media cluster in the east of the city's central district.