The rankings benchmark European cities and regions according to their economic, financial, and business strengths. Following an assessment of 509 locations; 330 cities, 141 regions and 38 LEPs, those with the most promising prospects for inward investment, economic development, and business expansion, are ranked in the Top 10 in categories.


Manchester represents the largest city region economy outside London, with a gross value added (GVA) of £78.7 billion. This strength has enabled it to establish an outstanding reputation as a world-class offer for international investors across its key sectors, Creative Digital and Tech, Advanced Manufacturing, Financial Professional and Business Services and Life Sciences.

Manchester placed highly for all measurements in the prestigious European accolade and emerged as the Top Large UK city overall, in Top Large UK city for Economic Potential Category and for Top Large UK City for Business Friendliness where it also placed in the top five.

The methodology behind this calculates a variety of factors, including the amount of hi-tech manufacturers, the number of jobs created by inward FDI, days taken to start a business, ease of doing business and top 1000 world banks.

Lou Cordwell OBE, Chair of Greater Manchester Business Board (LEP), said

“It’s great to see Greater Manchester as a city-region, and Manchester as a city, continue to be an attractive proposition for international investors. With access to a skilled workforce, leading academic research, regional, national and international connectivity, and strong local business networks and partnerships, we have always had a compelling offer, but now we’re gaining a reputation as a leading worldwide business destination.

“To be increasingly recognised for business friendliness, economic potential and FDI strategy is a testament to the ecosystem we’ve created here that allows businesses to thrive. It shows Greater Manchester can compete on a global scale to attract businesses and drive the right kind of growth for our residents.”


Joe Manning, Managing Director at MIDAS, Manchester’s Inward Investment Agency said

Manchester continues to stand out as a prime destination for businesses seeking strategic opportunities in Europe. It’s promising to see that our commitment to fostering sustainable development and driving innovation has been recognised by FDI Intelligence.”


View the full report here.