Antwerp is best ‘large European city’ for investors according to Financial Times

In the prestigious fDi Intelligence ‘Global Cities and Regions of the Future 2022/2023’ rankings of cities with a population under two million, Antwerp scores a fantastic first place for its strategy for attracting foreign direct investment. The city also was rewarded for its business-friendliness, its economic potential and its connectivity. As a result, Antwerp reached a top 10 spot in the overall ranking of large cities, for the very first time.

five awards

Potential and attractiveness for international entrepreneurship

Each year, the business world eagerly looks forward to the new rankings of fDi Intelligence, the Financial Times’s prestigious knowledge centre on international investment. This year, a team of experts compared 367 cities and regions on their potential and attractiveness for international entrepreneurship, with 161 submissions from locations, including Antwerp. Let’s be clear: a top spot in these rankings has to be earned. 

Best city for foreign investors

Antwerp was awarded first place in the ranking of strategy for attracting investment. The judging panel refers to Antwerp’s efforts to digitise investment promotion and service and to the city’s overarching vision to make the traditional engines of growth a platform to foster innovation and sustainable development. Antwerp’s flourishing start-up ecosystem is nurturing and growing the city’s excellence of tomorrow, according to the jury.

Discover Antwerp's ecosystem

Antwerp scores for connectivity

Antwerp also was rewarded for its connectivity (2nd place) in the category of cities up to 2 million inhabitants. Antwerp was praised for its excellent connection to its port, which is home to 900 companies, five nearby airports within a 90 km radius, a strong rail and road network and a rapidly expanding digital infrastructure. This second place is also related to strengthening Antwerp’s position in digital connectivity and connectivity in business. Antwerp is an excellent city for innovation and doing business.

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Business-friendliness, economic potential and best Belgian city

That’s not all: Antwerp also achieved a top 10 spot in business-friendliness (6th). The presence of technological businesses (offices, R&D, industry) and Antwerp’s efforts to create a business-friendly climate contributed to this result. Furthermore, Antwerp reached 8th place for economic potential. Thanks to all of this, Antwerp reached a 9th spot in the overall ranking of large cities. Another conclusion is that Antwerp is the highest scoring Belgian city in the fDi rankings.

View the fDi 2022/2023 rankings

Reasons to invest in Antwerp

For these awards, Antwerp submitted a file focussing on sustainable chemistry, digitization of port and industry and energy transition (including hydrogen). Additionally, recent investments in Antwerp’s chemical cluster  played a part in the appreciation for Antwerp. Antwerp clearly is highly valued internationally as an investment location. The cooperation with the port, BlueChem and The Beacon is crucial in this.

Want to know more about the opportunities and the reasons to invest in Antwerp?