Moscow picked as most attractive city for European businesses

The Russian capital has been named the most desirable city for European companies to expand into.

The rating was compiled by the Cushman Wakefield consulting firm, which surveyed 501 directors of Europe’s largest companies.

According to the survey, a whopping 57 large international companies are planning to open Russian branches in the next five years. This is 20 percent more than in 2010, when Russia also won the title.

“In Europe, the fastest-growing economy is Russia, so for European companies, the easiest way to get growth without going too far, like in China, it is to come to Russia,” Tim Millard, managing director of Cushman Wakefield in Russia, told RT.

Over the last two years, according to the survey, Moscow boosted its success in terms of market openness, telecommunications growth and transportation infrastructure. The city’s environmental situation and personnel qualifications, however, have deteriorated.

“Moscow’s success is being accelerated by very strong expansion in consumer spending, with the potential for this to be leveraged up considerably due to the current low levels of penetration of consumer credit, strong growth in B2B sales and large potential in regional cities beyond the traditional powerhouses of Moscow and St. Petersburg,” Millard said.

“All of this activity is underpinned by strong GDP growth, continued high oil and gas prices and a very healthy level of foreign currency reserves,” he added. “This growth in corporate activity will drive the next commercial property cycle and will give the bold investor the opportunity to earn significant returns from both income growth and capital appreciation.”

London, Paris and Frankfurt remain the leading European cities for business. Amsterdam and Berlin rank fourth and fifth.

The companies surveyed believe that the business world in the next five years will be largely influenced by new opportunities in developing markets. The companies named Europe’s aging population and changes in the demographic picture, meanwhile, as the most worrying trends.

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