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London named most powerful global city for fifth consecutive year

Natasha Clark
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London's international travel hubs have put it ahead of the global competition
London's international travel hubs have put it ahead of the global competition (Source: Getty)

The UK capital has been named the world’s most powerful city for the fifth year in a row, beating the likes of New York, Paris, and Tokyo to the top spot – though Paris is making gains elsewhere.

The 2016 Global Power City Index, released today by Japan’s Mori Memorial Foundation, ranked London as the top city yet again, picking up on the capital’s top businesses, strong cultural offering, and global transport links.

The capital first soared into the top sport in 2012 after hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The report scored 42 major global cities on economic performance, research and development, culture, accessibility, environmental and livability.

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This year London ranked top for accessibility and cultural interaction, with the report findings highlighting an increase in the number of visitors and students from abroad.

The capital’s access to world class transport links, including multiple international airports, was also underlined as a key driver for the growth of London as a global business and tourism destination.

Since 2008, London and Paris have battled for the position of most-accessible city, and this year London regained the title.


Click or tap on the graphic to open a zoomable version in a new tab (Source: Mori Memorial Foundation)

Last year London attracted a record 18.6m international visitors, drawn by global sporting events such as the Rugby World Cup and blockbuster exhibitions at its museums and galleries.

The report highlighted the capital as Europe’s fastest growing technology hub, with the number of businesses in London increasing by 46 per cent since 2012 – now boasting around 46,000.

London was found to be the best place to be a business manager, scoring highly for potential business growth and ease of doing business.

London was also found to be well suited for academic researchers, coming second behind New York.

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However, the capital did not do as well in the environment or livability categories. The most common word or phrase to describe London was found to be “expensive”. More positively, this was closely followed by “history”, “Big Ben” and “culture”.

Paris was described as “romantic” and “beautiful”, while Tokyo as named as “crowded” and “modern”.

London mayor, Sadiq Khan, said the study showed confidence in the UK, even after the referendum vote.

“This research shows that despite the recent vote to leave the EU, London is the best place in the world to do business,” he said. “From start-ups to global enterprises, across all industries and sectors, the capital offers the ideal environment for businesses to thrive.

“I am working with London’s business community to ensure their needs are met as we leave the EU and that our great city maintains its global position.”

Read more: Can London create its very own Apple, Google or Facebook?

Andrew Cooke, acting chief executive of London & Partners, the mayor’s promotional company, said: “London is the world’s truly global city. Since the Olympic Games in 2012, London has gone from strength-to-strength.”

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