London has overtaken the likes of New York and Shanghai in a global ranking of the top tech cities, second only to San Francisco as the city most likely to create the next big technology powerhouse.
Thanks to its "incredible entrepreneurial attitude, "23 per cent of investors chose London in EY UK’s Attractiveness Survey 2016. Shanghai came directly behind with 21 per cent of the vote, followed by New York (16 per cent) and Beijing (14 per cent), with San Francisco leading the way on 29 per cent.
EY’s London market segment leader Caroline Artis described the result as "unimaginable five years ago." Speaking to City A.M. she said: “Financial services remains important, clearly it does, but other services – like business services and tech – are now adding to the things that make London seem attractive to the rest of the world.”
“It’s incredible testimony to the things that have been going on here. You’ve got this incredible entrepreneurial attitude that seems to have grown over the last few years, definitely encouraged by things like Tech City.”
London further cemented its place as the top tech city in Europe as 57 per cent of respondents to the survey ranked London as top for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), with Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam trailing behind with 43 per cent, 29 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.
However, the future isn't looking quite so positive. Only 23 per cent of investors responded positively regarding UK investment in 2017 - down from 27 per cent last year - and only 36 per cent expect the UK's FDI rating to improve in the next three years.
The upcoming referendum will certainly have a significant effect, with the result having the potential to affect foreign technology investment for years to come.
Regina Moran, CEO of Fujitsu UK & Ireland commented: “This news reflects the fact that London has a highly diverse body of great talent, which is vital for companies to be creative and succeed. The long term success of any organisation in the fast-moving field of technology depends on both access to highly-skilled individuals and a diverse workforce who can bring in fresh perspectives, ideas and values.
"When everyone comes from the same background businesses can become stilted, in the same way that a mixture of complementary skills are needed to produce interesting results. On top of that, a lack of diversity can stunt a business’ ability to communicate effectively with its broad range of clients and customers.
The mixture of skills and backgrounds in London provides the perfect environment for technology companies like Fujitsu to innovate, and therefore it’s no surprise that the city is now the second highest ranked tech city in the world.”
Image source: Shutterstock/IR Stone