Albuquerque
Albuquerque, NM

The largest city in New Mexico, Albuquerque is also its economic center; it accounts for nearly half of the state’s economic activity. Part of its success can be attributed to a diverse economic base consisting of government, services, trade, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and research and development. In 2004 Forbes magazine ranked Albuquerque the 12th best city in the nation for doing business. The Rio Grande River valley contains rich farm and pasture lands that support a sizable food industry, based mainly on fruit and produce, in the Albuquerque area. Since its early years as a stop on the Santa Fe Trail, the city has been a transportation and service center. Albuquerque is also home to more than 700 manufacturing firms—many of them located in well-planned industrial parks—that produce such goods as trailers, food products, electronic components, neon and electric signs, hardware, and machine tools. Among the major manufacturing firms that call Albuquerque home are Intel, GE, and General Mills. The Rio Grande Research Corridor, a constellation of high-technology industries, sprang up in the wake of the development of nuclear research during and after World War II. Each year, more than $4 billion is spent on research and development in the region. The area’s major employers are part of this complex. Sandia National Laboratories, a government research and development lab, is involved in laser technology and solar energy. Kirtland U.S. Air Force Base, the area’s largest employer and the sixth-largest military base in the world, is a weapons research center. In 2004, the value of the base’s economic impact to Albuquerque was $3.3 billion. For nearly a century people have valued Albuquerque for its dry air, which is especially beneficial to those with respiratory problems. Today the city’s medical services and facilities are a vital part of the local economy. The year-round sunny weather attracts pleasure seekers as well; more than four million tourists visit Albuquerque each year, to ski the Sandia Mountains and to absorb the city’s rich ethnic heritage. Items and goods produced: machine tools, fabricated structural steel, furniture, hardware, textiles, paints, varnishes, fertilizers, scientific instruments, electronic equipment, neon and electric signs, native American jewelry and curios.

Alexandria
Alexandria, VA

Though Alexandria is now an independent city, it was at one point a part of Washington D.C. The city is less than 10 miles from the District of Colombia and its economy is closely connected with the federal government in Washington, and it will continue to be in the future. The largest employers in Alexandria are federal government operations such as the Defense Department. Many of the private sector operations in the city also cater to government needs. Ultimately, activities of the federal government drive the economy of Alexandria, much like they drive the economies of other cities surrounding the District. As a result, the economic future of Alexandria will largely depend on how much the federal government grows in the coming years. Economists in the Washington D.C. area have stressed the importance of developing greater economic diversity in the region. In particular, the focus should be on developing streams of revenue that extend outside of the area. The reasoning is that the current economy in the Washington metro is heavily dependent on federal spending which can be inconsistent and irregular as the 2013 government shutdown demonstrated. Economic development specialists in the region are working on attracting and retaining companies in advanced industries with high research and development requirements. The Washington region as a whole has the human strengths necessary to maintain a high-tech STEM industry. In fact, there are signs that a new tech industry is slowly taking root in the District itself. The city of Alexandria, itself, will find it difficult to replicate the success of Washington D.C. Currently, the cost of living in Alexandria is far higher than both the national and state averages. The largest reason for this is real estate, though both transportation and food costs are higher than average. The high costs of the area combined with the lack of a high-tech cluster in Alexandria will make it difficult for the city to attract advanced industry to the city. Generally speaking, the private sector in Alexandria is not that large relative to other cities. The private companies that do operate in the city tend to be in the professional services, catering to the needs of the federal government. It is possible that Alexandria will be able to diversify through businesses that spillover from Washington D.C. However, until then there is not a compelling business reason to choose Alexandria over other cities at this time. Ultimately, Alexandria will likely continue being a prosperous city that benefits from its proximity to Washington D.C. It has a great deal of culture, and the people that make up the city come from diverse backgrounds. The city was not terribly affected by the Great Recession and its unemployment rate has fallen to 3.6%. As long as the government maintains its current levels of activity, Alexandria will remain an appealing city for professionals seeking high-quality jobs that cater to the federal government.

Amman
Amman, Jordan

The banking sector is one of the principal foundations of Jordan’s economy. Despite the unrest and economic difficulties in the Arab world resulting from the Arab Springuprisings, Jordan’s banking sector maintained its growth in 2014. The sector currently consists of 25 banks, 15 of which are listed on the Amman Stock Exchange. Amman is the base city for the international Arab Bank, one of the largest financial institutions in the Middle East, serving clients in more than 600 branches in 30 countries on five continents. Arab Bank represents 28% of the Amman Stock Exchange and is the highest-ranked institution by market capitalization on the exchange. Amman is the 4th most visited Arab city and the ninth highest recipient of international visitor spending. Roughly 1.8 million tourists visited Amman in 2011 and spent over $1.3 billion in the city. The expansion of Queen Alia International Airport is an example of the Greater Amman Municipality’s heavy investment in the city’s infrastructure. The recent construction of a public transportation system and a national railway, and the expansion of roads, are intended to ease the traffic generated by the millions of annual visitors to the city. Amman, and Jordan in general, is the Middle East’s hub for medical tourism. Jordan receives the most medical tourists in the region and the fifth highest in the world. Amman receives 250,000 foreign patients a year and over $1 billion annually. Amman is introducing itself as a business hub. The city’s skyline is being continuously transformed through the emergence of new projects. A significant portion of business flowed into Amman following the 2003 Iraq War. Jordan’s main airport, Queen Alia International Airport, is located south of Amman and is the hub for the country’s national carrier Royal Jordanian, a major airline in the region. The airline is headquartered in Zahran district. Rubicon Group Holding and Maktoob, two major regional information technology companies, are based in Amman, along with major international corporations such as Hikma Pharmaceuticals, one of the Middle East’s largest pharmaceutical companies, and Aramex, the Middle East’s largest logistics and transportation company.

Anaheim
Anaheim, CA

Although known for its beaches and Disneyland, Orange county has evolved into a burgeoning center of business, finance and education. It is home to 30 major and smaller universities and professional schools which train thousands of students each year. UCI, Chapman University are two of the world renowned schools in the area known for both their undergraduate, but their law schools as well. Anaheim has continued to be a major magnet for tourism with several theme parks and employer of thousands of people. The accompanying hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues are a major driver of the local economy. Banking, financial planning firms and insurance companies also call OC their home. Major lending, claims and processing centers along with product development are leaders in the financial and business world.

Atyrau
Atyrau, Kazakhstan

The Customs Union evolved into the Eurasian Economic Union in January 2015. During 2014, Kazakhstan’s economy was suffering by Russia’s slowing economy, falling oil prices, and problems at its Kashagan oil field. Kazakhstan devalued its currency. GDP in 2014 was $212 billion, growth rate is 4.3 % in 2014. The major sectors are – agriculture as 4.9 % of total economy – grain, potatoes, vegetables, melons; livestock; industry is 29.5 % – oil, coal, iron ore, manganese, chromite, lead, zinc, copper, titanium, bauxite, gold, silver, phosphates, sulfur, uranium, iron and steel; agricultural machinery, electric motors, construction materials; services take 65.6 %. Labor force is 9.1 mln.; unemployment is 5.2 % in 2012. The prevailing semi desert nature in the region, make the agrarian business very weak. National trade exports: $87.25 bln. – oil and oil products, natural gas, ferrous metals, chemicals, machinery, grain, wool, meat, coal; China 15.9%, Russia 12.1%, Germany 9.5%, France 8.5%, Italy 5.3%, Greece 5.3%, Romania 5%. Trade imports: $47.56 bln. – machinery and equipment, metal products, foodstuffs; Russia 32.2%, China 29%, Germany 5%. Debt: $157 bln. Electricity production is 90.53 bln. kWh; consumption is 80.29 bln. kWh; import 4.25 bln. kWh; export 2.93 bln. kWh; generation capacity is 17.84 GW, with 87.3 % fossil and hydro is 12.7 %. Supply and distribution of electricity sometimes is unstable because of regional dependencies. There are abundant mineral deposits in the country – approximately one-fifth of the world’s uranium reserves; gold- seventh place in the world; copper-fourth; lead, zinc-fourth; aluminum–tenth place in the world; nickel, cobalt-twelfth and seventh places in the world; iron, manganese-sixth; chromium-third in the world; coal-in top ten. Crude production is 1.63 mln. bbl/day, export is 1.36 mln. bbl/day, import is 118 000 bbl/day, reserves 30 bln. bbl. Refined production – 300 000 bbl/day, consumption – 248 000 bbl/day, export 143 000 bbl/day, import 52 000 bbl/day. Gas production is 20 bln. m3, consumption is 15.7 bln. m3, export is 11.2 bln. m3, import is 6.5 bln. m3, reserves are 2.407 trillion m3. Kashagan oil field gives high expectations to local people for prosperity. The investments, reached several billions USD, but several technical problems delayed the start of the extraction. There are large residential complexes for oil workers. There is a pipe factory investment of Chevron and other with related materials. Expectations for long lasting business with the petrol in the region, makes some big company to invest and to build local content production facilities. Around Atyrau there is several gas pump station, Chinese investment, bringing natural gas to China. The local refinery is also property of Chinese company. The airport is well maintained. The city is safe, international banks have offices. Nationalism among locals is not strong and aggressive; most of them sympathize to foreigners. English is rarely spoken. The traffic of the city is not well controlled and in pick hours the moving slows to 5-10 km/hour. The military patrols are visible in many parts of the city. Opportunities are connected to favorable relations with the biggest world power – US, Russia, China, India, Japan, and EU. All of them have big investments and interests in the local economy and Kazakhstan keeps good relations with all. Numerous big energy companies are presented there, Shell, Chevron, Total, BP, NCPOC, Lukoil, Gazprom, to name a few. Threats are mainly connected to the falling prices of oil and commodities, as those are the main contributors to the economy. The country is not affected by terrorism, or other unfavorable international situation. It keeps very strong relations with Russia, but in the same time behaves independently to important world problems. Weaknesses are as following: too much dependence on the carbon business and minerals, whose prices are unstable; in the region of Atyrau the soil is not productive, the climate is difficult and nearest big city is on several hundred kilometers, chances for diversification in near future are weak; the Caspian sea cost is not appropriate for tourism or recreation, due to the inconvenient landscape; the infrastructures in the region need big improvement, especially water supply and road traffic; local engineering capacity is weak. Opportunities are in connection of the expected start of Kashagan pumping, it will bring thousands of jobs in maintenance industry; gradually locals also get jobs in high technology businesses; the President, with national program puts target of developing hydrocarbon independent economy, through investment in infrastructure, especially in railways and tourism attractive places, transport, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, petrochemicals and food processing; local friendly culture and safe environment will support the development, as this is the way to prosperity; improvement projects for stabilizing the electrical supply. A strategic plan of development of Kazakhstan until 2020 was adopted in 2010.

Baghdad
Baghdad, Iraq

Baghdad is the capital of the Republic of Iraq and has a population of over 8 million. Baghdad is the political, business and manufacturing centre of Iraq and is emerging from over 10 years of war and strife. Before that Iraq suffered through many years of sanctions that stunted development and growth. Iraq is a major oil producing nation with proven reserves that put it in fifth place in the world, the expectation is though that because of under development, Iraq will be proved to have the second largest oil reserves in the world, after Saudi. A lot of the business conducted in Baghdad is therefore based upon oil revenues. Following the improvement in security in 2017, the government is pushing had on economic reform that will modernise the industrial base of the country, create jobs for Iraqis and increase trade through expert of manufactured goods. Several initiatives are underway including new hotels, hospitals, roads and well as a new communications network and a number of large housing projects and a development plan for Baghdad 2030 has been released. Another government initiative is to increase inward investment. This will enable acceleration of growth, development and transition of the economy. Baghdad remains a very friendly city, with strong roots in the family and spending time socialising in market squares and by the Tigris at weekends. Since the defeat of ISIS in 2017 security is improving significantly with several hotels downtown and the ability to travel across Baghdad to conduct business meetings in an almost normal manner.

Bali
Bali, Indonesia

Bali is an island which is very popular even more popular for foreigners rather the country of Indonesia itself. Industry of hospitality and tourism with its MICE is very well developed which Bali can make a smooth process of either divide or blend between modern and traditional culture. Hotels and resort villas are spread almost throughout cities of Bali although it is still concentrated in Center-Southern part of Bali. Because of that reason as well trading of FMCG business, properties, products and services that support tourism and hospitality will never die. European and Australian goes to Bali to spend their retirement day or leisure with surfing and beach activities. Even Indonesians still put Bali as their top holiday destination.

Balikpapan
Balikpapan, Indonesia

Balikpapan in the Kalimantan Islands is a very important city relating to forestry, mining, oil gas, construction and other services business in Indonesia. Being the country of many natural resources, Kalimantan Island and Balikpapan is the most prominent city where every investor or businessman always put their office or facilities here to run their business. Mining and oil gas industry and also forestry will always be the heart of business in Balikpapan where logistics is its supporting service that is always grown and much more to be developed as the infrastructure projects to connect to other cities in Kalimantan will always make Balikpapan its main hub.

Basra, Iraq

Oil exports remain still high, but the revenue goes steep down, due to the oil prices. The government of Iraq is eager to attract additional foreign investments, but a number of obstacles with security and economic stability and signs of administrative disintegration between 3 main communities, make their task very difficult. GDP of Iraq in 2014 was $221 billion, growth rates recently were 13.9 % in 2012, 6.6 % in 2013 and -2.4 % in 2014. The major sectors are – agriculture as 3.3 % of total economy – wheat, barley, rice, vegetables, dates, cotton; cattle, sheep, poultry; industry is 64.5 % – petroleum, chemicals, textiles, leather, construction materials, food processing, fertilizer, metal processing; services take 32.2 %. Labor force is 9 mln.; unemployment is 16 % in 2012. The prevailing semi desert nature in the region and lack of support, make the agrarian business very weak. National trade exports: $94.5 bln. – crude oil 84%, crude materials, food and live animals; China 23.8%, India 18.4%, US 15.7%, South Korea 7.7%, Greece 5.9%, Italy 4.9%. Trade imports: $62.34 bln. – food, medicine, manufactures; Turkey 23.3%, Syria 17.3%, China 16.6%, US 4.5%. Debt: $58 bln. Electricity production is 62.3 bln. kWh; consumption is 53.41 bln. kWh; import 8.2 bln. kWh; generation capacity is 11.2 GW, with 92 % fossil and hydro is 7.6 %. The grid is very unstable, with frequent black-out, caused frequent public discontent and demonstration is summer time, in Basra. Crude production is 3.4 mln. bbl/day, export is 2.4 mln. bbl/day, reserves 144 bln. bbl. Refines production – 590 000 bbl/day, consumption – 750 000 bbl/day, export 22000 bbl/day, import 242 000 bbl/day. Gas production is 1.18 bln. m3, consumption is 1.18 bln. m3, reserves are 3.158 trillion m3. Basra is a calm region, with very rare terrorist attacks, where the oil extraction and processing are the only possible businesses. The region is covered by poverty, negligence; none maintained infrastructure, dirtiness everywhere, dead animals and rats on the streets or floating in the famous canals and river Shatt-Al-Arab. The electricity is constantly off and on, water from the tap is unhealthy. Another problem is that after the invasion and in the next 13 years hundreds of thousand educated people left Basra, since no business opportunities for them were existing. Public transport does not exist for security reason. As public infrastructure need large investments for rehabilitation or for construction, the authorities started a program involving international organizations and companies. The oil prices slump down put very strong negative impact on the plans. Numerous of the planned development projects of the Governorate have been postponed or stopped. The main opportunity for Iraq is the support from Arabic countries, US, EU, Russia and other, in fighting with ISIS. But obviously this war will continue for a long time and will cause big destruction to the country. Another strong threat is the price of oil, the main budget supporter to the state. Predictions are that it will stay flat, or with slight increase. Iraq doesn’t have another business, which can balance the necessary revenues to the economy. Weaknesses of the country are numerous – widespread corruption, non-maintained infrastructure, insufficient basic services, low skill labor capacity and irrelevant laws. Legislation reform is vital; it must be updated, answering the new realities in the society, in order to support the country development. Unemployment remains high throughout the country despite the subsidized public sector. The signs of disintegration between Kurds, Suni and Shia, must be handled carefully, in order the integrity of Iraq be kept. Strengths are in connection of the geography, the river, the Gulf, with vast opportunities for tourism, as several Biblical and Muslim important places are in close vicinity. Basra has city channels, which can become touristic attractions. The river Shatt-Al-Arab which goes through the city and to the cost of the Persian/ Arabian Gulf is very attractive places for recreation. This will bring visitors from the neighbor countries Iran and Kuwait and all those together will bring prosperity to the population. The river is very attractive transport corridor Turkey – Syria – Iraq – Gulf – Indian Ocean. Encouraging private enterprise would make it easier for Iraqi citizens and foreign investors to start new businesses. The Governorate of Basra must take decision for a modest and constant infrastructure program for development, involving private entrepreneurs. Corruption down and security up, constant infrastructure investment and maintenance, culture and tourism will bring the peace and prosperity to the people.

Birmingham
Birmingham, United Kingdom

From a medieval market town, Birmingham developed in metalworking, leather and wool. With a number of natural advantages, which have driven its growth in the past; its location in the centre of England and its place in the middle of a growing network of medieval routes; nearby coal and iron deposits, and good waterways providing power for water mills. The growth in the canals, the development of rail across the UK impacted strongly on Birmingham. In the early 1900’s Birmingham became the centre of Car production in the UK, with a number of Private companies (Rover, Morris, Jaguar, Land Rover) merging to form the British Leyland Motor Company. Birmingham’s skill force in the industry has kept the industry in the area: Jaguar Land Rover have a large presence. In 2016 the world’s largest automotive supply chain trade show was held in Birmingham’s large Exhibition Centre the NEC. The venue, its location and the exhibition show the importance of Birmingham today. The NEC, opened in 1976 is the UK’s top venue, hosting more than 500 events a year, it is by far the largest in the UK, with ample parking and excellent transport routes. Birmingham has three world class universities and other tertiary colleges, attracting students from around the world. There is cultural diversity; more than 40% of its population is non-white, British or otherwise. Transport routes remain excellent, with road, rail and air routes to national and international destinations. Its International Airport, easily accessible from the city, is the UK’s seventh busiest airport, with over 9 million passengers a year, and now served by Emirates A380’s to the Middle East. Birmingham has a diverse list of top employers, ranging from Transport Services (National Express), Supermarket Head offices (Sainsbury’s), Food and Confectionery, Business and Financial Services, as well as automobile industry, and metal working industries. Business and Financial services and tourism are the more important industries. 256,000 people live and work in Birmingham, and around 300,000 in the Greater Birmingham area. 50% of the population of Birmingham are qualified at NVQ 3 and above; these statistics indicate a qualified and mobile workforce in the City. With an important place in the UK traffic system, and the UK’s largest exhibition centre, with a still thriving automobile industry the future for Birmingham should be bright. It has a mobile and qualified and skilled population. Concerns of the effect of “Brexit”, largely in the automotive sector; however, there is little reason why the city should not prosper with ties to the rest of the world. The population connections with India and the Middle East should provide a solid backdrop against which trade and expertise can be transferred to those areas. The key universities offer attractive study and research centres, supported by a regional policy to develop research and led by Aston University. Research thrives in medicine, engineering and life and health sciences; the diverse structure of the city’s industry should provide a good spring board for future growth and further diversification.

Bristol
Bristol, United Kingdom

Built on a significant industrial history, and powered by the early development of rail and shipping routes, Bristol grew with a divergency of industries, which continues today. Bristol remains a vibrant and active City. Essential to its status today as an administration centre for financial services. Its Central Station, Temple Meads, a link with Bristol’s past, was designed and built by Brunel in 1841. As in the past, Bristol is home to a divergent range of Industries; ranging from IT, which is increasing in the City, Heavy Industry, with Babcock and Airbus having large operations there; Financial Services , Transport and Distribution. Unemployment in the City is slightly below the national average. In 2008 Bristol was named as the UK’s first cycling city, followed in 2013 with it being placed in the top 10 of world cities for being bicycle friendly. This, together with excellent local and national bus and train routes makes the City easy to both live and work in. Whilst its central station, Temple-Mead’s offers good national connections, the northerly station on the busy London to Wales and the West motorway system, Bristol Parkway, provides easy commuting to and from Bristol across the City. Bristol has an airport, which serves national and international routes. It is serviced by large national and international discount and premium carriers. Thus Bristol has excellent travel links within and outside the UK. Served with two first class universities, Bristol attracts high level students across many disciplines; this will serve its future well, as good universities will attract good employers. With its excellent transport links to the whole of the UK, Bristol is increasingly chosen as a head-office location for companies moving out of London. Bristol has set its target as developing a low Carbon future by 2050, with a number of plans in operation; in this it will become increasingly cycle friendly and will seek to attract and develop renewable energies.

Cardiff
Cardiff, United Kingdom

Cardiff is a vibrant city, home for many large companies in many sectors; including Financial Services, Food, and Manufacturing. Manufacturing continues to develop North of Cardiff in the important valleys area, prestigious names being headquarter there; Aston Martin and TVR. Cardiff is the most densely populated area in the whole of Wales with around 11% of the population of Wales, seeing recent annual increases above that of Wales as a whole. Cardiff University, a campus of the University of Wales is around 30th in various rankings of UK universities; a member of the Russell Group of research-led universities, in 2014 it had two Nobel Laureates on its staff. It maintains close links with local business to provide a centre for research and development. The recently (1999) completed National Stadium, the “Millennium Stadium”, now the “Principality” Stadium, sponsored by a local Financial Services company, is a state of the art Stadium used for sporting and music events. With a capacity of 75.000 it is the second largest stadium in the world having a retractable roof. Now refurbished, Central Station sees 12 million passengers each year, serving as a hub both west to ferry Routes to Ireland and East to London and the rest of the UK. Together, the Millennium Centre, a large multi-halled arts centre and the St David’s Shopping Centre, only the 11th largest in the UK, but in the top two in the UK for visitors, attract many visitors. The development of Cardiff Bay Barrier scheme, with subsequent growth of the Waterside area, the largest Waterside development in Europe, has significant impact on Cardiff, making it both an attractive City to live and work in, attracting visitors and new income. In 2016 Cardiff was joint 3rd in best Cities in Europe, with Stockholm and Copenhagen. Cardiff was founded on excellent and developing transport links; as will be its future. Cardiff is in the top 10 in the UK for population growth, fast broadband access and growth in homes built. This growth is predicted to continue in the future. While Wales is considerably influenced by UK general trends, Cardiff provides the heartbeat for Wales, and the focus is on the city to ensure that it continues to drive through growth. In line with this, Electrification of the Valleys railways by 2017, and the lines west to Fishguard and Milford Haven, will support future growth. Some concerns of the “Brexit” decision, as Wales previously enjoyed considerable EU financial funding, are resolved; as the UK government will replace this at least until 2020. The region possesses workers skilled in manufacturing; the move of Aston Martin and TVR to the area shows the opportunities for continued inward investment. Recent growth in Financial Services in Cardiff adds skills to the local working population for incoming companies. The vision for the future is stated in the 2010-2020 strategic plan, much of which has already been completed. Infrastructure development is still underway, particularly electrification of the surrounding rail network, and improvements to local motorway network.

Chennai
Chennai, India

Recent estimates of the economy of the entire Chennai Metropolitan Area have ranged from US$58.6 to US$66 billion (PPP GDP), ranking it from the fourth- to sixth-most productive metro area of India, and the third highest GDP per capita. The metropolitan area doesn’t include the nearby industrial zones of Sholinganallur, Siruseri, Oragadam and Sriperumbudur. Chennai has an economic base anchored by the automobile, software services, medical tourism, hardware manufacturing and financial services. Other important industries include petrochemicals, textiles and apparels. The Chennai Port and Ennore Port contribute greatly to its importance. The city has a fully computerized stock exchange called the Madras Stock Exchange. Chennai was recently rated as having the highest quality of life among Indian cities ahead of the other three metros and Bangalore, based on the “Location Ranking Survey” conducted by ECA International. Chennai has improved its global ranking to 138 in 2006–07 from 179 in 2002–03. It is now ranked at 26th position in Asia in terms of livability, up from 31st rank in 2002–03. According to a 2007 worldwide quality of life survey done by Mercer, Chennai received the second highest rating in India, with New Delhi scoring the highest, and came in at a relatively low 157th worldwide. The reason was attributed to poor health and sanitation, and the increasing air pollution. It has the distinction of being called The Detroit of Asia.

Chennai has been tagged as the Banking Capital of India,for its vibrant banking culture and trading.The city has emerged as an important center for banking and finance in the World Market. Chennai boasts a transaction volume which serves 900 million people across the World through Back office operation. At present, it is home to four large national level commercial banks and many regional and state level co-operative banks. Several large financial companies and insurance companies are headquartered in Chennai. Prominent financial institutions, including the World Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, ABN AMRO, Bank of America, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Goldman Sachs, Barclays, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, ING Group, Allianz, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Asian Development Bank, Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas Fortis, Deutsche Bank and Citibank have back office and Development Center operations in the city. The city serves as a major back-up center for operations of many banks and financial companies of the world.

Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati is part of the state of Ohio, U.S. Nevertheless, the larger Cincinnati metropolitan Area extends into counties within Kentucky and Indiana as well. It houses several large corporations and manufacturing facilities. Cincinnati is very well connected through a series of highways making inflow and outflow of passenger and goods very convenient. Cincinnati ranks as the 29th metropolitan economy in the US. Its growth relies on the management, business and finance sectors; as well as manufacturing and marketing. In addition, the city has an important international trade (around $6.7 billion in sales outside US) and a high amount of foreign investment, which include several foreign owned companies relocating into the city. Located on the mid-west facilitates the connection of businesses with both the east and west states. This provides an important advantage to the city, which could enable the increase of service providers that could handle business coast to coast from a well-positioned central location. This growth requires a specialized work force and base infrastructure in order to allow competitiveness. To the city’s advantage, the university provides an important amount of the skilled workforce required in the market place. It is also the number one employment provider for the city as well as a development center. Nearby urban centers are tough competitors for Cincinnati, cities like Chicago and Minneapolis-St. Paul are positioned as more appealing than Cincinnati. Nevertheless, improving the cities macroeconomics and continued attraction of businesses and foreign investment behind incentive programs can position Cincinnati ahead of rival cities and propel its expansion.

Cleveland
Cleveland, OH

Several Fortune 1000 companies make Cleveland their home. It is a major manufacturing and commercial center, one of the primary ports on the Great Lakes, and a collecting point for highway and railroad traffic from the Midwest. The health and medical field Is the largest employer in Northeast Ohio, and Cleveland is one of the nation’s leading medical centers with 60 hospitals in the region. Cleveland Clinic’s health care was ranked #1 in the United States for the 19th consecutive year, and the city is home to one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals. Entrepreneur Magazine recently ranked Cleveland higher than San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, and New York as a site for entrepreneurship, and more than 700 biomedical and biotechnology firms make it their home. The Cleveland region will add 123,000 jobs by 2025, and food manufacturing will play a big role in that growth. That sector contributes $2.6 billion dollars in economic activity, due to its central location and proximity to rural land. Manufacturing built Cleveland and still remains an important part of the economy. Auto manufacturing is strong, thanks to healthy sales, while steel and energy are relatively weak. Le Bron James’ return to the Cleveland Cavaliers did more than strengthen the basketball team. Locals speak of the “LeBron Effect’ and the impact the return of the local hero had on the economy. Initial estimates of a $500 million bump were likely optimistic, but it remains true that ticket sales, bar and restaurant revenues, and souvenir sales increased substantially, which also affected tax revenues. Perhaps the largest impact was the result of increased local confidence and visibility on the global stage as a result of the Cavaliers winning their first NBA Championship.

Dakar
Dakar, Senegal

Dakar is the capital and largest city of Senegal. It is located on the Cap-Vert peninsula on the Atlantic coast and is the westernmost city in the Old World as well as on the African mainland. The city of Dakar proper has a population of 1,030,594, whereas the population of the Dakar metropolitan area is estimated at 2.45 million. The area around Dakar was settled in the 15th century. The Portuguese established a presence on the island of Gorée off the coast of Cap-Vert and used it as a base for the Atlantic slave trade. France took over the island in 1677. Following the abolition of the slave trade and French annexation of the mainland area in the 19th century, Dakar grew into a major regional port and a major city of the French colonial empire. In 1902, Dakar replaced Saint-Louis as the capital of French West Africa. From 1959 to 1960, Dakar was the capital of the short-lived Mali Federation. In 1960, it became the capital of the independent Republic of Senegal. Dakar is home to multiple national and regional banks as well as numerous international organizations. From 1978 to 2007, it was also the traditional finishing point of the Dakar Rally.

Dammam
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

The growth of the Saudi Arabian oil industry into the largest in the world brought about the rapid development of the region. As oil production increased, so did the number of people required to run the industry. The growing population needed more housing and services. First-rate hospitals and schools provided further incentives for people considering a move to the area. Service industries sprouted up to support the oil industry and meet the needs of people living in the Dammam Area. As a result, a region which had several hundred inhabitants some sixty years ago now boasts a population of well over 1.5 million, growing at a pace of over five percent a year. The key to the success of the Dammam Area is that unlike oil towns in other parts of the world, it has developed in all spheres. It is now a modern urban and industrial center which happens to be the headquarters of the Saudi Arabian oil industry. As this sector was growing in the early years, the Saudi Arabian government took steps to facilitate the evolution of the Dammam Area. New roads and highways connected the area to other urban and industrial centers in the Kingdom. A railway line connected Dammam to the agricultural center of Al-Kharj and on to Riyadh. Dhahran International Airport was established between Dhahran and Al-Khobar to connect the region to other parts of the Kingdom and the world. To encourage the growth of non-oil industries, an industrial city was established in the open space between the three cities. Now home to more than 124 factories, the industrial complex is completely engulfed by an urban mass. As a result, a second industrial city was established further away from the Dammam Area along the highway to Riyadh. Located on nearly 6,000 acres (24 km2) of land, the Second Industrial City is already home to 120 factories, with 160 others under construction. These plants manufacture a variety of consumer and industrial products that are marketed throughout the Kingdom and are exported to other countries around the world. Handling such exports, as well as imports from abroad, is the domain of shipping agents and commercial companies located in Dammam and Al-Khobar, making the Dammam Area not only a major oil producing and exporting area, but also a commercial and shipping center. The growth of the region has necessitated the construction of a larger and more modern airport to replace the Dhahran International Airport which is now cramped for space. The new King Fahd International Airport, located 20 kilometres (12 mi) to the northwest of Dammam, serves not only the Dammam Area but also the Jubail Industrial City, some 60 kilometres (37 mi) to the north. As it has in other parts of the Kingdom, the Ministry of Health has established several modern hospitals and a network of health care centers in the Dammam Area. These are supplemented by hospitals and clinics set up by the private sector. Having been built from the ground up, the Dammam Area was designed from the outset on the principles of modern urban planning. Residential areas are separate from commercial sections, roads are broad and straight and buildings conform to a master plan. One of the main features of the development of the area is land reclamation. Vast stretches of the shallow Persian Gulf waters have been filled, with hotels and office buildings occupying what were once marshes. Water for household, urban and industrial use is provided by desalination plants that supply approximately seven million cubic feet of treated water to the area each day. The availability of water underpins the urban and industrial growth of the Dammam Area, and provisions have been made for expanding existing desalination facilities to meet future growth. The Dammam-Dhahran-Khobar area is a major hub for shipping, oil, commerce and industry. Tankers take on oil at the terminal in Ras Tanura. The Dammam Area is also famous for the wide variety of recreational facilities it offers residents and visitors alike. In many ways, the Dammam Area has evolved as the link between Saudi Arabia and the outside world, exporting the Kingdom’s products and importing its needs and thriving on the interaction between Saudi Arabia and other countries.

Doha
Doha, Qatar

Qatar is the biggest LNG exporter in the world, supplying to various places around the globe with proved reserves comprise 13% of the world total. Nevertheless the country takes measure to de-carbonize the economy. Gas production is 158.5 bln. m3, consumption is 32.93 bln. m3, export is 125.5 bln. m3, import is 6.5 bln. m3, reserves are 25.07 trillion m3. GDP in 2014 was $210 billion; growth rate in sequential years was 6 % in 2012, 6.3 % in 2013, 6.1 % in 2014. The major sectors are –industry takes 68 % of total economy – liquefied natural gas, crude oil production and refining, ammonia, fertilizers, petrochemicals, steel reinforcing bars, cement, commercial ship repair; services are at 31.9 %; agriculture has only 0.1 % – fruits, vegetables; poultry, dairy products, beef and fish. The desert nature in the region, make the agrarian business impossible. Labor force is 1.5 mln.; unemployment is 0.4 % in 2014. National trade exports: $121 bln. – liquefied natural gas (LNG), petroleum products, fertilizers, steel; Japan 25.3%, South Korea 18.8%, India 12.7%, China 7.7%, Singapore 6.2%, UAE 5.1%. Trade imports: $39.12 bln. – machinery and transport equipment, food, chemicals; US 11.5%, China 10.6%, UAE 8.2%, Germany 7.1%, Japan 6.4%, UK 5.5%, Italy 4.9%, Saudi Arabia 4.6%. Debt: $158 bln. Electricity production is 32.7 bln. kWh, all internally consumed; generation capacity is 8 GW, with 98.5 % fossil and renewable is 1.5 %. The harsh climate makes people stay mostly indoor, putting a strong burden on cooling facilities, respectively on an electrical power production. Air-conditioning is working day and night, consuming tremendous portion of the energy produced. All new technologies in efficient and energy saving lighting are applied. Crude production is 1.54 mln. bbl/day, export is 1.232 mln. bbl/day, import is 118 000 bbl/day, reserves 25.24 bln. bbl. Refined production – 311 000 bbl/day, consumption – 230 000 bbl/day, export 554 000 bbl/day. The cost of fuel is very low and does not support saving performance from drivers. In the same the weak public transport makes the private cars and taxis the only option for transportation. Strong construction activities are going on all around the country and in Doha – malls, roads, villas, recreational places, artificial landscape. Two entirely new cities are in construction – Lusail and Al Waab, giving rise to heavy transport, sea shipments and flow of new foreign workers. Qatar’s hosting of FIFA 2022 World Cup is accelerating large-scale infrastructure projects such as Qatar’s metro system, light rail system, a new port, roads, stadiums and related sporting infrastructure, those change the vision of Doha. The city streets are full with heavy trucks, noise and traffic jams are intensifying. Numerous international construction and consultant companies are presented there, attracted by the plans of Qatar and also by the favorable legislation, as the US, UK and EU norms are respected. Qatar is planning also to become a health hub of the Arabic peninsula and rehabilitation of old hospitals or new construction takes place. Opportunities in the outside environment are in connection of: the stable demand in the world market for LNG; stable political relations with other Arabic countries, EU and US and trade relations with China, Japan, South Korea and India; good image of the country. Threats are related to: the steep fall of the oil & gas prices worldwide; new discoveries with gas, which increase competition; development of new technologies, which make non-traditional resources cheaper than traditional ones; political one, related to the ongoing wars in Syria and Iraq, which destabilizing Middle East; terrorism, spread out in all Arabic world and Africa, making a wide region unsafe, etc. The main weakness of Qatar is too much dependence on the oil & gas business and export. The steps taken for de-carbonizing the economy are not giving quick results in that direction. Also too much dependence on the foreign workforce, as it is at the moment, makes the country vulnerable to external factors. Local population shall gradually take over common working activities in private companies, instead of relying on the jobs in public offices only. Strengths are numerous: big national wealth; strong construction changing the structure of the economy and the vision of the country; all new technologies are applied in new construction; developed public facilities, rule of law; international codes are applied in construction – US, UK and EU; the willingness of local authorities to build a modern state, with the best infrastructure and healthcare and other services; common understanding that de-carbonizing the economy is the best future of the economy; the developments would make Qatar as an attractive touristic destination.

Durham
Durham, NC

Durham, located in Durham County, North Carolina, also known as the “bull city” or the “city of medicine,” is a growing metropolis of a population of about 250,000 in the city proper with another quarter million people living in the four-county Durham-Chapel Hill Metropolitan Area. Durham and Chapel’s Growth Domestic Product (GDP) in fiscal year 2013 was close to $42 billion out of the state combined metro GDP that was closer to $410 billion. Durham is home to market leading companies – Cisco, IBM, Lenovo, Glaxo Smith Kline, Fidelity, RedHat, Cree, Qunitiles, Credit Suisse, American Tobacco and RTI International – located in the vertices Research Triangle area and is home to the Research Triangle Park. As a leading medical, research, educational and development market in the United States; Durham is also home to Duke University, Duke Medical Center, Duke Law School, and North Carolina Central University. Durham’s Key Location Objectives (KLO) are in education, research and development, manufacturing, engineering and technology, and financial services. It is a core city between Raleigh, Chapel Hill and surrounding areas. The estimated total public and private investment for downtown Durham in 2012 was about $1.2 billion that included projects for development and the performing arts. The Research Triangle Park is home to over 190 fortune 500 and 100 companies with diversified portfolios employing 50,000 workers and 10,000 contractors with nearly three fourths of all new jobs being created in the State of North Carolina. The median household income is $45,000 – $50,000. The low cost of living, climate and quality of life makes Durham a leading city for business investments and a skilled labor force.

El-Segundo
El Segundo, CA

El Segundo, CA, with a population of 16,839, is a city within the county of Los Angeles in the state of California. El Segundo (“the second” in Spanish) earned its name by becoming the second Standard Oil refinery on the west coast. In 2017 the city scored a landmark, celebrating 100 years of innovation, leadership and growth. El Segundo is ideally located: it sits next door to Manhattan Beach and close by the other South Bay sister cities of Hermosa and Redondo Beach–an ideal location in which to thrive for any business and its employees. El Segundo is a city with roots in refinery, aerospace and manufacturing innovation that’s developed into a technology hub of world-class businesses involving high-tech engineering, advanced information technology, data systems, and digital media. Representing the oil industry in El Segundo’s is Chevron’s main west-coast oil refinery, which was established in 1911. El Segundo is recognized as the aerospace capital of the world, with manufacturing industries like Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin headquartered there. Over half of all satellites and vehicles currently in space were manufactured in El Segundo, CA. Technologies used around the world, such as DIRECTV, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, and Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) are products conceived and built in El Segundo. In addition to manufacturing industries, El Segundo has been the chosen location for Los Angeles United States Air base. A further example of a non-manufacturing business is Just Fab, a personalized retail shopping organization with more than four million users which has chosen El Segundo as its home base. Each of these enterprises provides employment for thousands of individuals. El Segundo continues to be sought after for new projects. As an example, The Point, a new $80 million retail center began its development in 2015 and will introduce chef-driven restaurants intertwined with specialty shops, adding to the existing fun and adventure one would expect from a beach-side city. The foregoing presents but a small snapshot of the value El Segundo brings to the state of California. The city’s geographic link with prominent aerospace, manufacturing and oil refineries are examples of large corporate enterprises, but it is also the home to many entrepreneurs and start-ups companies, such as Chef’D, the first company to fulfill food orders on a national basis. Additionally, El Segundo’s strong infrastructure, fiber optic network, and skilled workforce make it an ideal setting for leading engineering and tech firms such as Computer Science Corporation, IBM and Oracle, just to name a few. El Segundo is centrally located near Los Angeles International airport with easy freeway access to downtown Los Angeles and is just minutes from the state’s mile-long coastline. El Segundo, having celebrated 100 years of innovation and leadership, appears robustly primed for another 100 years or more of continued growth and industry leadership.

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.

Gaithersburg
Gaithersburg, MD

Gaithersburg has grown at a rapid rate over the past several decades. What was once a small farming town of barely 1,000 has turned into a thriving city of 66,000. The city is bursting with human potential. Over half of the population has at least a college degree and around 31,000 people work in innovative fields like software engineering, medical science, and biochemistry. The economy has been remarkably stable even after the difficulties of the past few years. From 2010 to 2014, there were only four significant layoffs by companies in the city. It is the people who call Gaithersburg their home who will continue to make the city an attractive place for commerce in the future. The biotechnology industry is anticipated to be one of the most prosperous commercial areas of the future. The global markets for healthcare and bio-energy are expected to grow into the trillions. Gaithersburg is well situated to prosper off of biotech’s future. The regulatory agencies in the city have no reason to leave anytime soon. As long as they remain, Gaithersburg will attract companies wishing to establish close connections with regulatory officials within the city and the Washington area at large. Gaithersburg will look especially attractive to businesses due to its lower cost of living compared to other Washington satellite cities. In particular, real estate in Gaithersburg is much less expensive than it is in cities like Fairfax and Reston. In 2013, the average home sale in Gaithersburg was priced at $340,200, whereas in Montgomery County, the average home was sold at $415,800. Perhaps most important of all is that Gaithersburg will continue to attract talented people working in the STEM fields. By 2030, it is forecast to become the largest city in Montgomery County with approximately 84,600 citizens. Its job market is expected to continue to grow along with the city. Over the next 10 years, the labor market is forecast to expand by 35%. It will not be an unsustainable boom town that loses talent to other, larger markets. The high quality jobs, stable economy, and steady labor force growth ensure that. But Gaithersburg is much more than a giant business park. It is a strong community that prides itself on its diversity. In fact, some say that it is the most diverse city in the nation. New residential developments in the city are increasingly emphasizing walkability by locating themselves adjacent to restaurants and shops. By doing this, developers are catering to a younger crowd that prefers city living over suburbia. The strengths are there for Gaithersburg to continue attracting talent to fuel its burgeoning biotech sector. The city’s most prosperous days are likely still to come.

Glasgow
Glasgow, United Kingdom

Glasgow’s development was built on it being a market town, where leather production and wool were its foundations. Being coastal there was naturally commerce in fish, but linen and cotton spinning became increasing important. Glasgow has thrived since it was named European City of Culture in 1990; it has good art collections, restaurants, is home to the Scottish Ballet, Opera and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. It has two excellent universities, both of which have very high research involvement. Glasgow is the UK’s fourth largest City with 1.7 million people in the greater Glasgow area. It is in the top 30 largest cities in Europe. The work force is well educated, being second to London in the UK for level of graduates employed. The city has diversified industries, with a few sectors being significant; low carbon, financial and business services, life sciences, engineering, energy (particularly renewables) and education. Being a gateway to the highlights of Scotland tourism is important. 80% of the Whisky bottling for Scotland takes place in Glasgow. The future of Glasgow, more than many other UK cities, is troubled by uncertainties over Brexit. This is due to the high dependency on EU funding for the Universities, with many EU students there, and for research projects. Despite this the life sciences industry, hosting the Glasgow Bio-Corridor, and funded partially from GSK (a US company) should allow for continued growth and development. The Financial and Business services sector should also allow the city to continue growth. Today the city is 74th in the world ranking of financial centres; the sector employs 52,000 in large banks and institutions. This makes the private sector in Glasgow amongst the fastest growing in the UK. With a strong history in Engineering, and hosting many important engineering companies, (with around 10,000 professional engineers working in the City), supported by Universities with a strong engineering emphasis, there is no reason why Glasgow should not continue its growth based on a diverse but strong economy. The supply of talented staff can only be of benefit to the future. It is for the business leaders of the city to take these opportunities, and overcome the uncertainties that Brexit may have caused.

Greensboro
Greensboro, NC

Greensboro, located in Guilford, County, North Carolina, the State’s third largest city and a part of the Piedmont (Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point) Metropolitan area. It has a population of about 300,000 people. Greensboro’s Growth Domestic Product (GDP) in fiscal year 2013 was close to $40 billion out of the state’s combined metro GDP that was closer to $410 billion. Some of the market leading companies in Greensboro are Honda Aircraft, Volvo Trucks, International Textile Group, and Lincoln Financial. Greensboro’s Key Location Objectives (KLO), are in textiles, tobacco, and furniture. People travel from all around the world to purchase these types of commodities from manufacturers in Greensboro. Greensboro. Greensboro is also an educational, and medical research facility home to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina A&T University. There is strong growth in trade and transportation, professional business, manufacturing, education and healthcare sectors of the Greensboro marketplace.

Hartford
Hartford, CT

Hartford is the capital of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It was the seat of Hartford County until Connecticut disbanded county government in 1960. As of the 2010 Census, Hartford’s population was 124,775, making it Connecticut’s third-largest city after the coastal cities of Bridgeport and New Haven. Census Bureau estimates since then have indicated Hartford’s fall to fourth place statewide, as a result of sustained population growth in the coastal city of Stamford. Hartford is nicknamed the “Insurance Capital of the World”, as it hosts many insurance company headquarters and insurance is the region’s major industry. The city was founded in 1635 and is among the oldest cities in the United States. It is home to the nation’s oldest public art museum (Wadsworth Atheneum), the oldest publicly funded park (Bushnell Park), the oldest continuously published newspaper (The Hartford Courant), and the second-oldest secondary school (Hartford Public High School). It also is home to Trinity College, a private liberal arts college, and the Mark Twain House where the author wrote his most famous works and raised his family, among other historically significant attractions. Twain wrote in 1868, “Of all the beautiful towns it has been my fortune to see this is the chief.” Following the American Civil War, Hartford was the richest city in the United States for several decades. Today, Hartford is one of the poorest cities in the nation, with 3 out of every 10 families living below the poverty line. In sharp contrast, the Hartford metropolitan area is ranked 32nd of 318 metropolitan areas in total economic production and 7th out of 280 metropolitan statistical areas in per capita income. Highlighting the socio-economic disparity between Hartford and its suburbs, 83% of Hartford’s jobs are filled by commuters from neighboring towns who earn over $80,000, while 75% of Hartford residents who commute to work in other towns earn just $40,000.