Amsterdam
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is the financial and business capital of the Netherlands. Amsterdam is currently one of the best European cities in which to locate an international business. It is ranked fifth in this category and is only surpassed by London, Paris, Frankfurt and Barcelona. Many large corporations and banks have their headquarters in Amsterdam, including Akzo Nobel, Heineken International, ING Group, Ahold, TomTom, Delta Lloyd Group and Philips. KPMG International’s global headquarters is located in nearby Amstelveen, where many non-Dutch companies have settled as well, because surrounding communities allow full land ownership, contrary to Amsterdam’s land-lease system. Though many small offices are still located on the old canals, companies are increasingly relocating outside the city centre. The Zuidas has become the new financial and legal hub. The five largest law firms of the Netherlands, a number of Dutch subsidiaries of large consulting firms like Boston Consulting Group and Accenture, and the World Trade Center Amsterdam are also located in Zuidas. The Amsterdam Stock Exchange (AEX), now part of Euronext, is the world’s oldest stock exchange and is one of Europe’s largest bourses.

Atlanta-GA
Atlanta, GA

The Atlanta metropolitan area is the eighth-largest economy in the country and 17th-largest in the world. Corporate operations comprise a large portion of the Atlanta’s economy, with the city serving as the regional, national, or global headquarters for many corporations. Atlanta contains the country’s third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies, and the city is the global headquarters of corporations such as The Coca-Cola Company, The Home Depot, Delta Air Lines, AT&T Mobility, UPS, and Newell-Rubbermaid. Over 75 percent of Fortune 1000 companies conduct business operations in the Atlanta metropolitan area, and the region hosts offices of about 1,250 multinational corporations. Many corporations are drawn to Atlanta on account of the city’s educated workforce; nearly 43% of adults in the city of Atlanta have college degrees, compared to 27% in the nation as a whole and 41% in Boston. Delta Air Lines, the city’s largest employer and the metro area’s third largest, operates the world’s largest airline hub at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and has helped make Hartsfield-Jackson the world’s busiest airport, both in terms of passenger traffic and aircraft operations. Media is also an important aspect of Atlanta’s economy. The city is a major cable television programming center. Information technology, an economic sector that includes publishing, software development, entertainment and data processing has, garnered a larger percentage of Atlanta’s economic output. Indeed, Atlanta contains the fourth-largest concentration of information technology jobs in the United States.

Beijing
Beijing, China

Beijing is among the most developed cities in China, with tertiary industry accounting for 73.2% of its gross domestic product (GDP); it was the first post industrial city in mainland China. Beijing is home to 41 Fortune Global 500 companies, the second most in the world behind Tokyo, and over 100 of the largest companies in China. Its overall economic influence has been ranked number 1 by PwC. Finance is one of the most important industries. There are 751 financial organizations in Beijing generating revenue of 128.6 billion RMB, 11.6% of the total financial industry revenue of the entire country. That also accounts for 13.8% of Beijing’s GDP, the highest percentage of any Chinese city. Beijing’s nominal GDP is 1.37 trillion RMB. Its per capita GDP is 78,194 RMB. Beijing’s nominal GDP is 1.19 trillion RMB (US$174 billion). Its GDP per capita is 68,788 RMB (US$10,070). Beijing’s primary, secondary, and tertiary industries are worth 11.83 billion RMB, 274.31 billion RMB, and 900.45 billion RMB respectively. The Beijing central business district (CBD), centered on the Guomao area, has been identified as the city’s new central business district, and is home to a variety of corporate regional headquarters, shopping precincts, and high-end housing. Beijing is increasingly becoming known for its innovative entrepreneurs and high-growth startup companies. This culture is backed by a large community of both Chinese and foreign venture capital firms, such as Sequoia Capital, whose head office in China is in Chaoyang, Beijing. Though Shanghai is seen as the economic center of China, this is typically based on the numerous large corporations based there, rather than for being a center for entrepreneurship.

Appleton Greene
London, United Kingdom

London generates approximately 20 per cent of the UK’s GDP (or $446 billion); while the economy of the London metropolitan area – the largest in Europe – generates approximately 30 per cent of the UK’s GDP (or an estimated $669 billion). London is one of the pre-eminent financial centres of the world and vies with New York City as the most important location for international finance. London’s largest industry is finance, and its financial exports make it a large contributor to the UK’s balance of payments. Around 325,000 people are employed in financial services in London. London has over 480 overseas banks, more than any other city in the world. Over 85% (3.2 million) of the employed population of greater London works in the services industries. The City of London is home to the Bank of England, London Stock Exchange, and Lloyd’s of London insurance market. Over half of the UK’s top 100 listed companies (the FTSE 100) and over 100 of Europe’s 500 largest companies have their headquarters in central London. Over 70 per cent of the FTSE 100 are within London’s metropolitan area, and 75 per cent of Fortune 500 companies have offices in London.

Paris
Paris, France

The Paris Region is France’s premier centre of economic activity, and with a GDP of €607 billion (US$845 billion), it is not only the wealthiest area of France, but has one of the highest GDPs in the world, after Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Seoul and London making it an engine of the global economy. Were it a country, it would rank as the seventeenth-largest economy in the world, larger than the Turkish and Dutch economies and almost as large as Indonesia’s. While its population accounts for 18.8 percent of the total population of metropolitan France, its GDP accounts for 31.0 per cent of metropolitan France’s GDP. Wealth is heavily concentrated in the western suburbs of Paris, notably Neuilly-sur-Seine, one of the wealthiest areas of France. This mirrors a sharp political divide, with political conservatism being much more common towards the western edge, whilst the political spectrum lies more to the left in the east. The Parisian economy has been gradually shifting towards high-value-added service industries (finance, IT services, etc.) and high-tech manufacturing (electronics, optics, aerospace, etc.). However, in the European Green City Index, Paris was still listed as the second most”green” large city in Europe, after Berlin. While the Paris economy is largely dominated by services, it remains an important manufacturing powerhouse of Europe, especially in industrial sectors such as automobiles, aeronautics, and electronics. The Paris Region hosts the headquarters of 30 of the Fortune Global 500 companies.

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