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Interesting news for London-based businesses, or companies considering opening an office in London:

Earlier this month, London was recognised as the World’s second most global city in the The 2010 Global Cities Index, a report produced by Foreign Policy, AT Kearney and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs

London is second only to New York in the index; Tokyo came third, followed by Paris, Hong Kong, Chicago, Los Angeles, Singapore, Sydney and Seoul, all in the top ten

The index uses specific criteria to judge what makes a global city, and these criteria will fascinate any business considering opening a London Office

The Global Cities Index is not about population size. Some of the world’s largest cities are notably absent from the Top 10. Instead, it aims to measure how much sway a city has over what happens beyond its own borders, specifically its influence on and integration with global markets, culture, and innovation.

Foreign Policy have explained their methodology in creating the index:

“To create this year’s rankings, we analyzed 65 cities with more than 1 million people across every region of the globe, using definitive sources to tally everything from a city’s business activity, human capital, and information exchange to its cultural experience and political engagement. Data ranged from how many Fortune Global 500 company headquarters were in a city to the size of its capital markets and the flow of goods through its airports and ports, as well as factors such as the number of embassies, think tanks, political organizations, and museums. Taken together, a city’s performance on this slate of indicators tells us how worldly — or provincial — it really is.”

from The Global Cities Index 2010 – An FP Special Report

They also note that while the trend is undeniably eastwards – Five of the top ten cities are in Asia – the great capitals of old-school commerce are not only very resilient, but remain remarkably dominant. Of note to those looking to run their business from London Offices, these older cities have a head start over the younger competition, as their colossal influence amplifies their advantages.

I  find this index fascinating. I’ve always considered London to be a truly global city, albeit using a different definition of the term. It’s one of the things I love most about it; the diversity of its population goes a long way to explaining the energy of the place. Every nationality is represented, with over 300 languages are spoken in London, and the “world living in one city” was one of the themes which helped win the 2012 Olympics.

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