Capital rated best 'small' city in Europe

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EDINBURGH has beaten a host of major capital cities to be named among the best in Europe by an influential global magazine.

The Capital is punching above its weight to be ranked sixth overall in the list compiled by the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) magazine, and topped the poll for best "small" European cities.

Scotland was named the top European region.

The accolade was welcomed today as a boost to efforts to attract major investment to the city.

FDI – which specialises in studying the worldwide economy – looked at a number of business-based criteria when compiling the league tables, including best economic potential, most "business-friendly" environment, quality of life, infrastructure and attractiveness for foreign investment.

Edinburgh was ranked above a number of major European cities, including Brussels, Madrid, Geneva, Barcelona and Dublin.

City leader Jenny Dawe said: "Time and again, opinion polls rank Edinburgh as one of the best places to live, work, visit and invest.

"This new rating confirms that Edinburgh is the economic powerhouse for Scotland with our talented workforce, excellent air, road and rail connections and premium office space ensuring that business is booming."

She added: "We need to actively promote the city as a business destination to ensure we continue to attract potential investment, fresh talent and more business and leisure visitors to the city."

The Capital was also named the second best city in Europe for human resources – which is based on having the most qualified staff, the best worker reputation, a high number of science and technology graduates and strong labour productivity per hour.

The FDI list is dominated by UK cities, with London claiming the overall top spot, and Cardiff named the second best "small city", behind Edinburgh.

The judges were impressed with Scotland as a whole, particularly plans to develop the River Clyde and the progress on the Edinburgh BioQuarter area at Little France.

Lena Wilson, chief operating officer at Scottish Enterprise, said: "This is a tremendous result for everyone who works to promote Edinburgh and Scotland, particularly my colleagues in Scottish Development International for attracting investment.

"To have been benchmarked against our European competitors is very satisfying."

Scotland beat Flanders, Northern Ireland, Kent, the Isle of Man and Wallonia in Belgium to be named top region.

Enterprise Minister Jim Mather said: "People across Europe are realising Scotland's government is determined to increase economic growth and they want to be part of that. Edinburgh is central to our economic ambitions and it is great to be recognised in this way."

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