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Four Scottish cities - Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness - rank among the top ten in the latest fDi European Cities of the Future report.

Glasgow Finnieston light path
Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness are among the top ten business-friendly European cities for their size

Scotland has retained 9th position in the fDi Magazine's European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018/19 - the only UK region outside the south east to feature in the top 10.

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Scottish cities FDI rankings

The same report reveals that Scotland's cities are alive with possibilities if you're looking for a location that pushes all the right buttons in the modern connected economy.

Business and investor friendly

All four cities have solid local support systems to ease inward and foreign investment and direct connections to skills and academic partners. Not to mention markets like the 500 million people of the $18.5 trillion economy of the EU. All just a short jet flight away.

Edinburgh - Mid-sized European cities of the future rankings

  • 2nd place overall
  • 2nd place for economic potential
  • 6th place for business friendliness

Edinburgh is proving to be a true powerhouse of the digital revolution, with more start-up activity than anywhere in the UK outside of London. Its reputation as a centre of banking, insurance and investment management is well known, but with the rise of world-leading tech companies such as Skyscanner making full use of excellent university graduates, Edinburgh is thriving.

In Glasgow, we can tap into talent from the universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde, the West of Scotland and Edinburgh, amongst others.

Stephen Flaherty, Managing Director of JP Morgan

Glasgow - Large European cities of the future rankings

  • 2nd place for FDI strategy
  • 4th place for business friendliness
  • 7th place overall
  • 10th place for connectivity

"Glasgow is now consistently achieving recognition as one of Europe's top cities for FDI strategy and business friendliness. These impressive results confirm that Glasgow is a truly world-class city," says Susan Aitken, Leader, Glasgow City Council.

Capital investment and improvement has given Glasgow improved access to internal and external markets and has provided a springboard for inward and foreign investment to the city.

It's already ranked highly as a financial centre. 

However, initiatives such as the International Financial Services District, City of Science, Digital Glasgow and Sustainable Glasgow are paving its way toward a future of job growth in fast-growing industries – at the forefront of technology integration and application – creating a smart, sustainable environment in which to build that future.

Aberdeen - Small European cities of the future rankings

  • 10th place overall
  • 9th place for economic potential
  • 10th place for business friendliness

The Aberdeen Harbour expansion project is strategically important to the growth of Scotland’s economy. A recent impact assessment study confirms the project will not only help sustain growth in the oil and gas sector, but will also help to maximise opportunities from the growing cruise tourism and renewables sectors.

Maggie McGinlay, director of energy, Scottish Enterprise

Aberdeen is considered the energy capital of Europe and home to expertise across renewable energy, oil and gas, supply chain and subsea technologies. 

"Subsea technology and engineering know-how, honed in the North Sea, in the early eighties are now used around the world in the extraction of hydrocarbons. Scotland has the largest concentration of subsea engineering in the world, with Aberdeen recognised globally as a centre of subsea excellence, " says Neil Gordon, chief executive, Subsea UK.

The granite city has also cemented its reputation as a world-leading business, culture and leisure destination, with a new multi-million pound redevelopment project at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre underway to host major global industry and consumer events.

Inverness - Micro European cities of the future rankings

  • 5th place overall
  • 6th place for economic potential
  • 6th place for business friendliness
  • 7th place for human capital/lifestyle

Inverness is a magnet for progressive industries and innovative new businesses too. The range of businesses and community enterprises in the area is as diverse as the landscape.

Inverness is developing as a centre for life sciences commercialisation and research. The country's largest life sciences employer, LifeScan Scotland, is based in the city, along with the prestigious Centre for Health Science.

The Inverness Campus development is currently underway. This highly ambitious education and business park will be a centre for learning and research as well as a prime location for inward investment.

Significant sector opportunities for your investment

A number of economic growth sectors are strategic focus areas for Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness:

  • Low carbon 
  • Life sciences
  • Engineering, design and manufacturing
  • Fintech, financial and business services
  • Tourism and events
  • Higher and further education
  • Creative industries
  • Retail
  • Oil and gas supply chain
  • Subsea technologies

Why not join us? 

We're proud of all that Scotland has to offer inward investors and we're here to help companies like yours find a location that works in all dimensions. 

We're here from day one to ease you through the process of finding the right place, financial package, premises, people and connections in Government, business and academia to make Scotland your business home.

Is your company ready to join us? 

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