Top 10 most competitive cities

New YorkMark Lennihan/AP/Press Association Images

New York, Paris, Milan, Peckham... the city you base your business in can make all the difference to whether or not some day you will be a billionaire. So where should big business be heading, and where does the UK feature?

A study by the Economic Intelligence Unit has identified the ten most competitive cities in the world. It identified competitiveness as the ability to attract business, talent and visitors - by rating them on a whole host of attributes, from economic strength and human capital to institutional effectiveness and social and cultural character. Overall, it reveals it's not just size that counts - and that when it comes to the decline of the West - there's life in the old dog yet.

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Top 10 most competitive cities

This takes the top spot, with particularly strong scores for its financial maturity, social and cultural character, economic strength and global appeal - all of which it is in the top ten for.
However, there are some worrying signs for the future - not least the score of 18th for human capital - which demonstrates a lack of talent. Mayor Michael Bloomberg blames the country's immigration policies for keeping skilled professionals out.

Second place is a strong finish for the UK's most competitive city - Birmingham is the next placed city in the UK and makes it to number 37.

London benefits from real strengths in financial maturity, social and cultural capital. It also takes the top spot for global appeal. However, there are real alarm bells ringing when you see it only makes it to number 29 for economic strength - behind a whole host of Asian cities, US cities, and even Paris.

Asia's highest-rated city scores maximum points for physical capital, and has real strength in institutional effectiveness, environmental hazards and global appeal. Local experts attribute the city's success to its openness to the rest of the world.

This struggles to make it to the top ten in many categories - except for human capital, environmental hazards and global appeal. It's the city's ability to attract the best from around the world that enables it to compete.

Human capital is a real strength for Hong Kong, with the second highest score overall (after Dublin). It has long-attracted the best and the brightest from around the world, keen to be part of a phenomenal growth story. Added to that, strengths in financial maturity, and sixth place for global appeal, push it into equal fourth place.

This takes third place overall for global appeal. Tokyo also makes it into the top ten for financial maturity, economic strength and physical capital. It certainly capitalises on its size - with an economy well over a trillion dollars.

This punches well above its weight for a relatively small population of just over 1 million. It takes the top spot for financial maturity and institutional effectiveness. It also comes top ten for physical capital, human capital and environmental hazards.

This pushes into the bottom of the top ten for human capital and financial maturity, and number 11 for global appeal. As the home of US politics it clearly benefits from its political position in the world.

Top marks for financial maturity, social and cultural character makes it the third most competitive city in the US, after New York and Washington - just pipping Boston and San Francisco.

This squeezes into the top ten for financial maturity and institutional effectiveness and number 11 for human capital.

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