London beat 30 other European cities, including Frankfurt, Brussels, Amsterdam and Barcelona, to achieve its first-class ranking.

It has been top every year since the study began in 1990.

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The UK capital city came first in five out of 12 categories: access to markets, qualified staff, external transport links, telecoms and languages spoken.

This year’s survey showed an increase in the number of firms expecting to locate in London in the next five years, adding to the £38bn of FDI that already contributes to the city’s economy.

The research also highlighted the opportunities offered by Asian markets. The growth of China and India was cited as the most influential factor for European businesses over the next 10 years.

Inward investment agency Think London is actively promoting the UK capital as an opportunity for China and India, and has plans to establish offices in both markets to capitalise on FDI opportunities.