Charlotte-NC
Charlotte, NC

Charlotte has become a major U.S. financial center and is now the second largest banking center in the United States (after New York). The nation’s second largest financial institution by assets, Bank of America, calls the city home. Charlotte has 10 Fortune 500 companies listed in order of their rank: Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Lowe’s, Nucor (steel producer), Duke Energy, Sonic Automotive, Family Dollar, Goodrich Corporation, SPX Corporation, Domtar, Chiquita Brands International. Other major companies headquartered or with corporate operations in Metro Charlotte include: Extended Stay Hotels, Babcock and Wilcox, RSC Brands, TIAA-CREF, Time Warner Cable, Fox Sports 1, ESPNU, Continental Tire the Americas, LLC., Muzak, Belk, Harris Teeter, Meineke Car Care Center, Lance, Inc, Carolina Foods Inc, Bojangles’, Carlisle Companies, National Gypsum, Electrolux, LendingTree, Compass Group USA, Food Lion, and Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated U.S. Airways regional carrier CCAir is headquartered in Charlotte. Charlotte is also a major center in the U.S. motorsports industry, housing multiple offices of NASCAR as well as the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Major energy players in Charlotte include AREVA, Babcock and Wilcox, Duke Energy, Electric Power Research Institute, Fluor, Metso Power, Piedmont Natural Gas, Siemens Energy, Shaw Group, Toshiba, URS Corp., and Westinghouse. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte has a reputation in energy education and research and its Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) trains energy engineers and conducts research.

Frankfurt
Frankfurt, Germany

With a landmass that stretches from the North Sea and the Baltic Sea in the north to the Alps in the south, Germany has the largest population of any EU country. Germany borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France and Luxembourg to the southwest, and Belgium and the Netherlands to the northwest. The most important sectors of Germany’s economy in 2014 were industry (25.9 %), public administration, defense, education, human health and social work activities (18.2 %) and wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food service activities (15.5 %). Germany’s main export partners are France, the US and the UK while its main import partners are the Netherlands, France and China. Germany was a founding member of the European Union in 1993. It is part of the Schengen Area, and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G8, the G20, and the OECD. Frankfurt is the most international city in Germany, the largest financial center on the continent, the historical city of coronations, the city of Goethe and the Frankfurt School. Almost one in three of the people living in Frankfurt do not hold a German passport. No matter where visitors come from, they will always meet people in Frankfurt who speak their language and a restaurant that serves their favorite food. The open and hospitable atmosphere in Frankfurt stems from its centuries-old role as a trading center. This liberal and democratic tradition of the city may be one reason for the fact that people from very diverse cultures have lived here in peace with one another for a long time.

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.

Zagreb
Zagreb, Croatia

Croatia is small country with 4.5 million people located on south Europe across the Adriatic Sea from Italy. It is about the size of West Virginia. Part of Croatia is a barren, rocky region lying in the Dinaric Alps. Over one-third of Croatia is forested. The country has a long and dramatic coastline with the Adriatic Sea, in which the country has over 1 000 islands and islets, of which just 48 are permanently inhabited. Because of its geographic position, Croatia represents a blend of four different cultural spheres. It has been a crossroad of influences of the western culture and the east—ever since division of the Western Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire—as well as of the Mitteleuropa and the Mediterranean culture. The most important sectors of Croatia’s economy in 2014 were wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (21.2 %), industry (21.1 %) and public administration, defense, education, human health and social work activities (15.4 %). Croatia’s main export partners are Italy, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Slovenia while its main import partners are Germany, Italy and Slovenia. Economic output was dominated by the service sector which accounted for 66% of GDP, followed by the industrial sector with 27.2% and agriculture accounting for 6.8% of GDP. Tourism dominates the Croatian service sector and accounts for up to 20% of Croatian GDP. Croatia has unpolluted marine areas reflected through numerous nature reserves and 116 Blue Flag beaches. Croatia is ranked as the 18th most popular tourist destination in the world. By its historical tradition, cultural relations, and above all, its urban planning, Zagreb is a distinctly central European city situated in the middle of the triangle of Vienna, Budapest and Venice. It has always been and remains a part of the cultural circle of central Europe; a city of a million inhabitants that has managed to stay romantic, clean, and which offers visitors pleasant walks and enjoyment in a city full of parks and pedestrian zones. In short, it is a city that has managed to preserve its soul and identity, its cultural and historical heritage.

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