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The Warsaw Voice » Business » September 2, 2011
Business & Economy
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Warsaw Attractive to Big Business
September 2, 2011   
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Warsaw ranks number 12 among top business locations across the world, according to a study by real estate services company CB Richard Ellis (CBRE). More than 150 multinational corporations have their offices in the Polish capital city.

Many cities in emerging markets are attracting a similar number of international office occupiers to established business centers—this is the main finding of CBRE’s Business Footprints: Global Office Locations 2011 report.

According to the report, which compares the office presence of 280 major companies across 101 countries and 232 cities, 17 of the top 30 most popular company office locations are in emerging markets. The CBRE report names Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo as the most attractive business locations worldwide.

CBRE’s research identified Shanghai and Moscow as the most popular business locations across all emerging markets. Shanghai is home to 172 of the companies profiled (61.4 percent), and is closely followed by Moscow, where 170 (60.7 percent) are present. Beijing is the next highest ranked business center across all emerging markets, with 169 of the 280 companies (60.4 percent) surveyed having an office presence in the city. Other cities in the rapidly expanding BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) markets which rank among the world’s top 30 business locations include Sao Paulo (52.1 percent of companies surveyed have an office in the city), and Mumbai (43.2 percent).

The Polish capital is among the cities most attractive to international companies. Joanna Mroczek, director of Research & Consultancy at CBRE in Poland, said, “Warsaw is ranked as the fifth most attractive business location across all emerging markets; 150 (53.6 percent) of 280 international companies surveyed have their offices in the Polish capital. Warsaw is ranked as the 12th most popular business location overall, behind New York (11th) and Paris (10th).”

Mroczek added, “This shows that Warsaw is one of the most significant business centers in Europe. For the largest international companies, Warsaw is as important a location as the most economically developed capitals and business centers. Large corporations will be followed by smaller players on the market, which shows the development potential of Poland and its capital.”

According to Sławomir Majman, president of the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAIiIZ), international analysts and global corporations still treat Poland as an emerging market. “It very rarely happens that so many decision-making centers appear in the capital of a country classified among emerging markets,” said Majman. “It is quite a feat that Warsaw is among cities leading the way in this area.”

The CBRE league table is not the only survey that points to the growing attractiveness of Warsaw for big business. In the latest annual European Cities Monitor (ECM) report, Warsaw was ranked first in terms of the lowest labor costs, ahead of Bratislava, Lisbon and Prague. The Polish capital took third place in terms of conditions created by the government for business. On this count, Warsaw came ahead of cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin and Budapest. The report closes with a ranking of cities in terms of where investors are the most eager to invest in the next five years. The Polish capital was ranked in second place, behind Moscow. The ECM report is based on a survey of 500 executives from European companies.

In turn, according to a January report by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Warsaw is the most attractive city for investors in Poland and is in many ways ahead of other European capitals. Last year, foreign funds invested almost 1.8 billion euros in Poland, buying office buildings and shopping malls. Real estate in Warsaw accounted for 60 percent of the total. That’s more than was invested in all of Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania combined.

Warsaw came 10th in a league table of cities ranked in terms of investment outlook by PwC and the Urban Land Institute in February. Warsaw moved up by three notches from the previous year, outperforming Prague (17th place) and Budapest (25th place). According to the respondents, who included developers, financial institutions and property management companies, real estate in the Polish capital is characterized by a high level of adaptation to market needs.

Warsaw is also a perfect example of Poland’s success story in attracting foreign direct investment. According to fDi Markets, by November last year, over 931 million euros was invested in greenfield projects in Warsaw, while 2009 ended with a total of 775 million euros. In terms of FDI, Warsaw eclipses other European capitals such as Berlin, where investment totaled 230 million euros in the corresponding period of last year.
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