Overseas businesses in London see long term potential of 2012

Ahead of the landmark one year to go, overseas businesses in the city reveal that confidence is high that the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will bring long term benefit to the capital. 

Aerial view of Olympic Park

The findings are part of eighteen months' worth of foreign direct investment (FDI) insight, as London & Partners announce the results of the 4th wave of the FDI Barometer (previously Think London FDI Barometer) which measures the confidence and sentiment of overseas-owned businesses in the capital.

Commissioned by London & Partners and conducted by international research company Ipsos MORI, the barometer commenced in 2009 with the initial wave of research. The fourth wave marks the first time the barometer has provided an eighteen month picture of changing sentiments, revealing that in each wave at least 90% of senior executives from overseas companies in London are satisfied with the capital as a location for their business.

The report, which records both recent and forward trend programming, also revealed:

- 86% of interviewees feel that the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will have a beneficial effect on London, while 75% expect the legacy of the Games to provide long-term benefit to the capital.

- Over 70% of interviewees consistently cited proximity to markets and customers as the principal reason for their London presence.

- Great transportation links, availability of skilled labour and access to clients are key factors contributing to London's place as a top unique business destination. The city's positioning as a global financial hub, its multiculturalism and proximity to Europe were also noted as important factors.

- Economic prospects also looked promising, with the majority of respondents reporting that they expect rises in revenue and gross profit over the next 12 months.

The results come as London & Partners officially launches in China and Australia, building on already strong relationships in the region and attracting and delivering value to businesses looking to open up operations in the capital.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "These findings confirm London's reputation as the best city in the world in which to work, invest and do business.”  

"International companies clearly have huge confidence, both in London's future and the tremendous benefits hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games will bring. This is a fantastic sign that we are well on the way to building a lasting economic legacy from the 2012 Games."

Andrew Cooke, Chief Operating Officer / Acting CEO of London & Partners commented on the results:
"The 4th wave of research provides us with an overall view of sentiments from business leaders over the past year. The fantastic news is that businesses are consistently satisfied with London, highlighting the city’s combination of unique assets as key to its position as a global business hub.

He added; "Confidence in business prospects is also high, and with only one year to go to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, there has never been a better time to invest in the capital."

London & Partners FDI Barometer Key Findings infograph

Download a pdf of the results of Wave Four here

To view and download the results of the previous Baromoter waves please use the below links:

Wave 1 - December 2009 / January 2010
Wave 2 - May / June 2010
Wave 3 - October / November 2010

Notes to Editors

About the FDI Barometer
The FDI barometer (previously Think London Barometer) is a long-term study that measures the confidence and sentiment of overseas-owned businesses in the capital.

The survey is conducted on behalf of London & Partners by Ipsos MORI three times a year, tracking movements in business confidence and changes of opinion amongst a sample of the capital’s more than 20,000 overseas-owned companies.

The survey respondents are C-level decision makers with some responsibility for selecting and maintaining a company’s location. Interviews were conducted over the phone. The results of the interviews are treated on an anonymous basis and the data is weighed by sector and country of origin to match the profile of foreign-owned businesses in London.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the survey fully represents the diversity of London’s FDI in terms of sector, size and country of origin. Between 250 and 300 companies participate in each survey, representing an employment base in excess of 100,000 staff across the capital. Wave 4 interviewed 272 respondents from 21st February – 12th April 2011. For more information on the survey please contact Rebecca Smith on rsmith@londonandpartners.com