From Shanghai to Bristol, we look at six cities that have taken aim at international businesses, offering scores of benefits for companies seeking to expand overseas
A city really blazing a trail on the world’s start-up scene is Bristol. So much so that research recently published by marketing agency Yours Sincerely found it to be the best place to start a business in the UK.
Nestled in the South West of England, its transport links provide it with easy access to Wales as well as London and the South East.
With desk space ranking 56% cheaper than London on average, the report also cited internet connection speeds, commuting times and the number of start-ups already flourishing there as reasons for its top billing. Regus currently has five centres in the city, with three more in neighbouring areas.
In January last year, O’Neill & Brennan decided to relocate its Cheltenham office to set up a new facility with Regus in Bristol. Will Keenan from O’Neill & Brennan, hailed Bristol as a “vibrant city”.
“The flexibility that comes with working with Regus has been instrumental to our growth,” he added. “So much so that we have opened an additional office in Regus Cardiff and are in the process of opening a new office in one of its Exeter locations.”
“Since relocating to Bristol, we have seen year-on-year growth with a turnover of £2m in year one, and with our new locations primed for new business opportunities this is predicted to double to £4m this year.”
China’s economic boom in recent decades has been no secret, with Shanghai perfectly placed for any company looking to get involved in the Chinese success story.
Undoubtedly one of the biggest attractions for businesses to move to Shanghai is its Free Trade Zone. Launched in 2013, the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (SFTZ) is essentially a pocket of liberal economic policies similar to those of Hong Kong, but nestled on the mainland.
Designed in part to entice and welcome foreign business, it means foreign investors are no longer required to invest 15% within three months and 100% within two years.
Last year, mining company Anglo American moved its Chinese operation from Beijing to Shanghai. “With the growing importance of close local customer relationships and the importance of the region, last year we established a local business entity in China and opened our new office in Shanghai, moving from Beijing,” explains Heike Truöl, head of commercial services at Anglo American.
“This move allows us to be closer in proximity to many of our customers,…