Belfast ranked as world’s No. 1 midsize city for business friendliness

Belfast means business! A report reveals that the capital of Northern Ireland is the world’s top midsize city for business friendliness.

Belfast ranked as world's No. 1 midsize city for business friendliness

Belfast has been ranked first in a competitive list of the top small and midsize cities in the world for business friendliness in the Global Cities of the Future report.

Out of a total of 10 cities, Belfast came out on top, while the city finished in second place overall for small and midsize cities.

The Financial Times Report

The fDi, a branch of the Financial Times newspaper, released the report

The prestigious report was compiled by the fDi, a branch of the Financial Times newspaper, and is published every couple of years.

Ireland’s second city finished ahead of Aberdeen and Edinburgh for business friendliness, with Zurich at fourth and Geneva fifth. Vilnius, Luxembourg, Silao, San José, and Manama complete the top 10.

Belfast ranked fifth on the list for “Economic Potential,” third for “Human Lifestyle and Capital,” sixth for “Cost Effectiveness,” and fourth for “Connectivity.”

Overall, Belfast finished second on the list, with Zurich ranked as the number-one small and midsize city. Belfast was followed by Luxembourg, Geneva, and Edinburgh, to complete the top five.

fDi Strategy

Belfast also scored highly on the Editor’s Choice award for fDi Strategy, which is based on an ability to win investment from overseas.

It was beaten by Hong Kong but edged out the likes of New York City and Frankfurt, who finished third and fourth place respectively.

Investment in Belfast

More companies are investing in Belfast
Credit: Tourism NI

The report comes off the back of large-scale investment and development that has taken place across Belfast.

Global firm PA Consulting created 400 news jobs in Belfast, while US cyber-security firm Imperva created over 220 jobs in the city.

FinTrU, backed by Invest NI, have also announced plans to create over 600 jobs in Belfast and Derry, while £100m worth of office space has been developed since 2015 and a further £100m worth of new office space has been under construction.

Belfast City Council have also noted that in the past year, 26 projects have been completed across Belfast with a further 19 under construction.

Work of Belfast City Council and Invest NI

Belfast City Hall

The fDi praised the work of the Belfast City Council and said they were one of the reasons for Belfast’s place at the top of the list.

The report said that “The city council employs more than 100 people to promote Belfast as a leading destination for investment, tourism, and study.”

Another key factor is the work of Invest NI, who have offices in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific and have helped attract investment to the city.

Reaction to the report

Cllr Donal Lyons, chair of the Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee, commented that the report “reflects our commitment to attracting inward investment as part of our Belfast Agenda goal of growing the economy and also working with Invest NI to complement their work in attracting foreign direct investment to the region.”

Steve Harper, executive director for international business at Invest NI, said that Belfast “continues to attract global businesses” and that this is a “testament to the skills and talents of our workforce.”