Warsaw emerges as best European city for investment and business in the next five years

Warsaw, the capital of Poland can expect the biggest influx of companies and business in the next five years while London is the best business city in Europe, according to the 20th annual European Cities Monitor.

The influential survey by Cushman & Wakefield is regarded as a barometer to predict how cities in Europe will perform in key markets like real estate.

Those at the top end are likely to see rises in interest in property investment as well as big deals.

Warsaw knocked last year’s top city, Moscow, into second place. Some 36 of Europe’s largest companies named Warsaw as the European city in which they intended to next expand, up from 28 in 2008. Some 35 companies named Moscow, down from 44 in 2008.

The survey of 500 of Europe’s largest companies named Birmingham in the UK as the best performing city this year moving up seven places to be named as the 14th best European city for business.

But London remains the best ranked the best business city in Europe, a position it has held every year since the survey started in 1990.

Paris and Frankfurt are again ranked second and third.

In its 20th year, 2009’s European Cities Monitor features a special analysis of the performance of cities since 1990.

All of the key central and eastern European cities have seen increases in their position, most buoyed by membership of the European Union.

Prague and Warsaw have seen the biggest rise moving to 21st and 23rd respectively from their positions at the bottom of the ranking in 1990.

The Spanish cities of Barcelona and Madrid have also performed especially well coming in at 4th and 6th.

In 1990 neither even made the top ten.

Barcelona’s hosting of the 1992 Olympic Games boosted its position the following year when it rose three places and first entered the top ten.

It has remained within the top ten ever since.

Similarly, Manchester’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games in 2002 saw it rise from 19th to 13th in 2003. It is 16th this year.

Richard Petersen, managing partner of Cushman & Wakefield in Poland, said: ‘Foreign investors' interest in Poland has increased steadily since the 1990s and was further stimulated by accession to the EU in 2004.

Warsaw ranks high among European capitals in terms of cost of qualified staff, low cost and availability of office space and a positive business climate created by government.

Throughout the recent market turmoil, Poland has maintained a positive GDP growth and forecasts indicate that this will continue into 2010.

This in turn will provide favourable conditions for a rapid market recovery in the real estate sector during next year.’