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Top 10 business cities of the world

Last updated on: September 28, 2011 10:34 IST

Top 10 business cities of the world

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Due to business-friendly policies, excellent infrastructure and connectivity, some cities have become world-class business hubs.

To attract the top names in the highly competitive, and ever-expanding, field, these cities are always innovating, investing and evolving.

Let us have a look at 10 most popular business cities of the world.

The ranking is based on research by global real estate firm CB Richard Ellis, which surveyed 300 of the world's largest companies, including Fortune 500 firms and other non-listed entities, such as law firms.

The ranking is based on what percentage of these companies have offices in these cities.

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Image: Some cities are like magnets for businesses.

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1. Hong Kong

Percentage of Fortune 500 companies present: 68.2

Office rental cost: $2,297 per square metre

Hong Kong holds a unique position because of its location and lack of foreign ownership restrictions, which allow companies to operate globally and still have access to a highly skilled and low-cost workforce.

Annual rents for office space jumped 51 per cent in 2010 from the year before, and high demand and limited supply is expected to push up rents by a further 15 to 20 per cent in 2011.

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Image: Annual rents for office space rose 51 per cent in 2010.

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2. Singapore

Percentage of Fortune 500 companies present: 67.5

Office rental cost: $850 per square metre

The island nation's high-quality infrastructure, efficient administration, low taxes, as well as its busy shipping port and airport, have made it a top choice for many international companies and their expatriate employees.

Office rents went up as much as 16 per cent in 2010, with further increases expected in 2011 as corporations expand and demand continues to rise.


Image: Rents are projected to increase.

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3. Tokyo

Percentage of Fortune 500 companies present: 63.9

Office rental cost: $20,469 per square metre

Tokyo is home to 47 Japanese Fortune 500 companies, including Honda, Sony and Mitsubishi.

The city is also headquarters to several of the world's largest investment banks and insurance companies.

It is also known as one of the three command centres of the world economy, along with New York and London.

Tokyo slipped two places in 2010 to number three from being the most expensive office location in the world in 2009.

Rents fell by more than 11 per cent from the previous year as the city became a "tenants market" with vacancy rates rising and rental levels decreasing.

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Image: Tokyo is home to 47 Japanese Fortune 500 companies.

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4. London

Percentage of Fortune 500 companies present: 63.2

Office rental cost: $1,683 per square metre (West End) or $974 per square metre (City)

The city still attracts the highest number of international companies in Europe and dominates in the banking, financial, and professional services sectors worldwide.

London has more than 480 overseas banks and is home to multinational heavyweights.

Prime rents rebounded in London in 2010 after the global financial crisis. The city's West End saw annual rental growth top 27 per cent due to limited supply of new construction.

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Image: London has more than 480 overseas banks.

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5. Shanghai

Percentage of Fortune 500 companies present: 61.4

Office rental cost: $812 per square metre

Its position on the Yangtze River Delta also gives companies easy access to China's large manufacturing base, research and development and back office operations in the region.

As a result of growing demand, the city saw annual office rents rise by as much as 28 per cent in 2010.

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Image: Its location gives companies easy access to China's manufacturing base.

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6. Moscow

Percentage of Fortune 500 companies present: 60.7

Office rental cost: $850 per square metre

The city of 13 million has a high concentration of companies in the professional services sector given its highly skilled labor force and the fact that it often acts as a hub for operations in Central and Eastern Europe.

A redevelopment of Moscow's city centre and the construction of the Moscow International Business Centre have also helped cement the city's reputation as a hub.

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Image: The city of 13 million has a high concentration of companies.

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7. Beijing

Percentage of Fortune 500 companies present: 60.4

Office rental cost: $735 per square metre

The city has a high concentration of mining, construction and agricultural companies.

Firms that have a high level of interaction with government agencies and state-owned companies, as well as those in highly regulated sectors such as energy and mining, tend to set up an office in China's political centre.

Office rents went up by a whopping 48 per cent in 2010 because of increased domestic demand for high-quality office space and limited supply.

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Image: The city has a high concentration of mining, construction and agricultural companies.

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8. Madrid

Percentage of Fortune 500 companies present: 59.6

Office rental cost: $484 per square metre

Madrid is home to more than 75 per cent of companies in the media, technology and telecommunications sector, giving Madrid bragging rights as a media capital.

The city is also home to Telefonica - Europe's second-largest phone company.

Spain is among the top five countries in the world when it comes to attracting international companies.

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Image: The city is home to Telefonica, Europe's second-largest phone company.

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9. Dubai

Percentage of Fortune 500 companies present: 56.1

Office rental cost: $524 per square metre

Dubai attracted more than 70 per cent of the firms polled by CB Richard Ellis in the industrial goods and services sectors.

Given its strategic location - halfway between Europe and Asia - it often serves as the head office for higher-level decision-making.

Dubai saw rents go down by as much as 20 per cent, as significant oversupply and high vacancy rates plagued the domestic market.

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Image: Dubai often serves as the head office for higher-level decision-making.

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10. Paris

Percentage of Fortune 500 companies present: 55.7

Office rental cost: $1,093 per square metre

Paris plays host to offices of many front-office business functions because of its advanced economy and high skills base.

Professional services and the insurance sector have a large representation in Paris, while automobile and mining firms are the least represented.

Rents for office space rose nine per cent in 2010, despite ongoing economic debt worries in France and the wider euro region.


Image: Paris plays host to offices of many front-office business functions.

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