Birmingham has been named on an exclusive list of cities tipped to be the world’s most competitive in 2025 – ahead of the likes of Beijing, Moscow and Barcelona.
The city was the only one in the UK outside of London to be listed in the Hot Spots 2025 list, put together by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
The research takes into account 32 indicators, taking GDP, infrastructure, financial maturity, diversity and workforce and the regulatory environment.
New York, London and Singapore take the top spots, but Birmingham is ranked 43rd up from 46th on the 2012 list, placing it alongside Incheon in South Korea and Warsaw in Poland, and ahead of Madrid, Mumbai and Rio de Janeiro.
Researchers also believe Birmingham will become more competitive over the next 10 years. The research results in a mark out of 100, and the city’s 2025 mark of 55.8 would represent an improvement of 3.5 on 2012.
Wouter Schuitemaker, investment director of inward investment programme Business Birmingham, which is operated by Marketing Birmingham, said the report highlighted the city’s capacity to attract capital, business, talent and tourists.
He said: “This ranking reinforces what many of us know – that Birmingham is on the up. We are an ambitious city that gets things done and this is being noticed. It is helping us stand out as a global ‘one to watch’, despite huge international competition.
“The potential of the city is clear, and is being recognised not only by industry experts but by the record numbers of global businesses and visitors choosing to come here. Birmingham attracted a 52 per cent increase in foreign direct investments last year, with more projects than ever before.”
The EIU research seeks to reflect the importance of cities, with seven out of ten people set to be living in urban areas by 2050. The report states: “Already global business is beginning to plan strategy from a city, rather than a country, perspective. Understandably so: well over half of the world’s population lives in cities, generating more than 80 per cent of global GDP.
“Population projections show that virtually all global growth over the next 30 years will be in urban areas. The number of people living in cities is growing by nearly 60 million every year.”
Researchers say in order for a city to be globally competitive, it must have a large and growing economy, a good legal system, an inviting and productive culture, good infrastructure and it must have good policy on things that determine long-term stability and success, like the environment.
It shows, unsurprisingly, that much of the competitiveness growth in the next 13 years is expected to take place in Asian cities, such as Doha, in Qatar, Incheon and Mumbai, in India.
Meanwhile, cities such as Madrid, Spain, and Rome, Italy, are expected to fall significantly from 2012 to 2025, mostly due to a weakened European economy.
Last year global analysts McKinsey reported that by 2025, only 600 global cities including Birmingham would drive the global economy, and account for 60 per cent of worldwide growth.