Cities of businesses: mapping out a completely new world

Cities and businesses exist in an interdependent control with one another due to connectivity, management of resources, space of manoeuvre, geographic opportunities and, the most import aspect, of all human resources.

There is a global competition between cities, in a similar fashion to the competition among companies, creating a good sense of what a city of business is like.

Cities of business rankings have a certain internal dynamism, historical advantages, competitive advantages and also punique business models that attract and make a difference.

London, New York, San Francisco, Honk Kong, Tokyo and Paris seem to reshuffle their position in various rankings year after year. There is no race to the bottom and there are no real winners and losers as such as all of these cities are equal, the figure head no.1 being more of a symbol, not far away in results from the rest.

Interesting enough, cities of business ranking are connected more with their countries rather than the city life itself. Once a country like Germany is in with Munich, the way is smoothed for Frankfurt, Hamburg and Berlin: they will find their way in, as part of a network of cities from the same country, same language, similar culture.

Africa and the Arab world are the two main missing pieces in the global business world, though occasionally Dubai makes its way in. Also, business tycoons from this city conduct their businesses around the globe.

What else is really missing from rankings, including the emerging ones, is Europe's South East. As they used to be cheaper places, “buy peanuts, get monkeys” used to be the logic. There are even no proper rankings for this part of the world, but only so called “heath checks”, so nobody can tell if Sofia is better than Belgrade and even worse nobody can tell which countries would fit in geographically, though some of them are part of the European Union.

Bucharest, another example, is a good candidate for a smart city with 62 plans to develop an integrated urban development. Concepts of smart mobility, smart governance, smart economy become more common, topped up by an increasing quality of human resource.

Universities like the Bucharest University of Economic Studies advanced intensely in academic ranking, getting positive reviews outside the country. Also, the Bucharest Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIB) is one of the great adaptors and promoters of Bucharest for businesses in this network of cities, acting like a hub connecting interest of cities from Singapore to Ankara to Tripoli to Bishkek.

There are laggards and there are innovators in the city business as well as a matter of perception, which ultimately becomes more important than the ranking position itself.

Luliu Stocklosa

Iuliu Stocklosa, the President of the Bucharest Chamber of Commerce, told EU Today: “Thanks to its clear competitive advantages - the position at the intersection of two pan-European transport corridors and near the Danube corridor- with an emerging business mentality and professionals of high standards, the capital of Romania becomes attractive for investment."

Increasingly, there is place in the global trade for new players pairing with each other to create new conditions and also challenges and developments in old and new industries. The greatest challenge of them all is to get as many European cities mapped out for business and economic growth.

Main image: By VictorCozmei - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Image (Iuliu Stocklosa) via Diplomat Magazine.

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Razvan Hoinaru

Razvan Hoinaru

Razvan Hoinaru is a historian by heart, policy advisor by job and economist by education. A well balanced mixture of these aspects makes him "a man of social sciences".

Mainly Brussels based, Razvan Hoinaru is Member of the Club of Rome, EU-Chapter has been teaching accounting at Queen Mary's University of London and University of Economic Studies in Bucharest, authored books and studies on financial accounting, non-financial accounting and green energy. 

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