Greater Manchester’s reputation as a leading European business location has been recognised in the Financial Times fDi magazine’s renowned European Cities of the Future 2016/2017 report, and the region has been awarded first place in three categories.

Greater Manchester’s FDI strategy was ranked number one ahead of Lyon, Munich, Frankfurt and Seville and the region was first for business friendliness. The Greater Manchester’s Local Enterprise Partnership was also ranked highest for its FDI Strategy and the region gained more recognition by being ranked in the top ten in five further categories.

Presented for excellence in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) the awards are calculated using data collected from more than 481 European cities and regions in five categories: Economic Potential, Human Capital and Lifestyle, Cost Effectiveness, Connectivity and Business Friendliness.

Business Strategy is judged by an independent panel, who receive submissions from each region detailing their foreign investment strategy. This year there were 190 entries.

The latest figures show that MIDAS, the inward investment agency for the region supported the creation and safeguarding of 5,935 jobs in Greater Manchester over the 2014/15 period, with an economic impact of £327.1 million. The region saw a record number of jobs from overseas and 58% of jobs created and safeguarded were a result of foreign direct investment (FDI).

Councillor Richard Farnell, the lead for Internationalisation which includes trade and investment said:

“This success is based on Greater Manchester’s clear international strategy with its bespoke approaches to different markets and sectors, crucially supported by our private and academic partners. The accolade underlines that our approach is better than our competitors and this further enhances our global recognition as a great place to do business and as an investment destination.

“Greater Manchester’s strategy focuses on our genuine world-leading capabilities in areas such as advanced materials, precision medicine and cyber security. The region has inspiring and connected business clusters that clearly attract businesses from all over the world to base themselves here and in turn create jobs for people in Greater Manchester.  However, we can’t stand still, and in partnership with private companies and education leaders we will continue to invest in building infrastructure, cultivating our skills and identify suitable commercial and industrial land for development to create world leading places where foreign companies are keen to come and do business.

“It’s satisfying to see an increase in jobs created and bringing further business success to Greater Manchester.”

Mike Blackburn, chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, said

“These awards are a testament to the strength of Greater Manchester’s public-private partnership. Foreign capital is crucial for our future growth and we are working hard to create an attractive environment for investors. The new life sciences Enterprise Zone at Corridor Manchester is a great example of this. It will act as a catalyst attracting new jobs and growth to the sector. We are supported by a private sector that understands we need to work together to boost our economy and compete on the world stage.”

Greater Manchester

fDi’s Large European Cities of the Future 2016/17 – FDI Strategy Winner
fDi’s Large European Cities of the Future 2016/17 – Business Friendliness Winner

Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership

fDi’s Large European Cities of the Future 2016/17 – FDI Strategy Winner

More information on fDi’s rankings can be found here: