Geneva
Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva’s economy is mainly services oriented. The city has an important and old finance sector, which is specialized in private banking (managing assets of about 1 trillion USD) and financing of international trade. Geneva hosts the international headquarters of companies like JT International (JTI), Mediterranean Shipping Company, Vitol, Gunvor, Merck Serono, SITA, Société Générale de Surveillance, ST Microelectronics and Weatherford International. Many other multinational companies like Caterpillar, DuPont, and Cargill have their international headquarters in the city; Geneva LakeTake Two Interactive, Electronic Arts, INVISTA, Procter & Gamble and Oracle Corporation have their European headquarters in the city. Hewlett Packard has its Europe, Africa, and Middle East headquarters in Meyrin, near Geneva. PrivatAir has its headquarters in Meyrin, near Geneva.

There is a long tradition of watchmaking (Baume et Mercier, Charriol, Chopard, Franck Muller, Patek Philippe, Gallet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Rolex, Universal Genève, Raymond Weil, Omega, Vacheron Constantin, Frédérique Constant, etc.). Two major international producers of flavours and fragrances, Firmenich and Givaudan, have their headquarters and main production facilities in Geneva. The private sector is organized in different Union of employers, including the Fédération des Entreprises Romandes Genève (FER Genève) and the Fédération des métiers du bâtiment (FMB). Geneva is ranked as the fourth most expensive city in the world. Geneva moved up four places from eighth place the previous year. Geneva is ranked behind Tokyo, Osaka, and Moscow at first, second, and third respectively. Geneva also beat Hong Kong, which came in at fifth place.

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.

Milan
Milan, Italy

While Rome is Italy’s political capital, Milan is the country’s economic and financial heart. With GDP estimated at €132.5 billion, the province of Milan generates approximately 9% of the national GDP; while the economy of the Lombardy region generates approximately 20% of the Italy’s GDP. The province of Milan is home to about 45% of businesses in the Lombardy region and more than 8 percent of all businesses in Italy, including three Fortune 500 companies. Milan is home to a large number of media and advertising agencies, national newspapers and telecommunication companies, including both the public service broadcaster RAI and private television companies like Mediaset, Telecom Italia Media and Sky Italia. In addition, it has also seen a rapid increase in internet companies with both domestic and international companies such as Altavista, Google, Lycos, Virgilio and Yahoo! establishing their Italian operations in the city. Milan is a major world fashion centre, where the sector can count on 12,000 companies, 800 show rooms, and 6,000 sales outlets (with brands such as Armani, Versace and Valentino), while four weeks a year are dedicated to top shows and other fashion events. The city is also an important manufacturing centre, especially for the automotive industry, with companies such as Alfa Romeo and Pirelli having a significant presence in the city. Other important products made in Milan include chemicals, machinery, pharmaceuticals and plastics.

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.

Rome
Rome, Italy

Being the capital city of Italy, Rome hosts all the principal institutions of the nation, like the Presidency of the Republic, the government (and its single Ministeri), the Parliament, the main judicial Courts, and the diplomatic representatives of all the countries for the states of Italy and the Vatican City (curiously, Rome also hosts, in the Italian part of its territory, the Embassy of Italy for the Vatican City, a unique case of an Embassy within the boundaries of its own country). Many international institutions are located in Rome, notably cultural and scientific ones – such as the American Institute, the British School, the French Academy, the Scandinavian Institutes, the German Archaeological Institute – for the honour of scholarship in the Eternal City, and Specialized Agencies of the United Nations, such as the FAO. Rome, also hosts major international and worldwide political and cultural organisations, such as the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Food Programme (WFP), the NATO Defence College and ICCROM, the International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property. Although the economy of Rome is characterized by the absence of heavy industry and it is largely dominated by services, high-technology companies (IT, aerospace, defence, telecommunications), research, construction and commercial activities (especially banking), and the huge development of tourism are very dynamic and extremely important to its economy. Rome’s international airport, Fiumicino, is the largest in Italy, and the city hosts the head offices of the vast majority of the major Italian companies, as well as the headquarters of three of the world’s 100 largest companies: Enel, Eni, and Telecom Italia.

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