Antwerp is the second best city to invest in according to the Financial Times

Antwerp boasts to be one of the top European investment locations, as evidenced by the prestigious 'European Cities and Regions of the Future 2020/21' ranking of fDi Intelligence. Antwerp rose to second place for its strategy to attract international investment and was  again praised for its connectivity. This is a clear recognition of Antwerp's international development as an attractive destination for international investment.

Antwerp lies in 2nd place for fDi strategy 

Antwerp was scrutinised by fDi intelligence, the Financial Times' knowledge centre on international investment. For the ‘European Cities and Regions of the Future ranking 2020/2021’ a team of experts compared more than 319 European cities on their potential for international entrepreneurship. 

In the ‘large cities’ category, Antwerp ranks 2nd for its strategy for attracting international investment. This is a 4-place improvement compared to the previous ranking, leaving cities such as Manchester, Hamburg and Lyon behind. 

    Antwerp excels: 

    • only city in the Benelux in the top 10
    • rising from 6th to 2nd place
    • leaving the following cities behind: Manchester, Hamburg, Lyon, Frankfurt… 

    Strategy award - Large cities 

    2018/2019 - 2020/2021

    1. Birmingham - Glasgow
    2. Glasgow - Antwerp
    3. Rotterdam - Manchester
    4. Dusseldorf - Hamburg
    5. Frankfurt - Katowice
    6. Antwerp - Bordeaux metr. area
    7. Cologne - Dusseldorf
    8. Hamburg - Lyon
    9. Gaziantep - Frankfurt
    10. Kazan - Kharkiv

    According to the jury, Antwerp deserves this high ranking thanks to the impressive development of its urban ecosystem for digital innovation: 

    • The number of start-ups and scale-ups in the city has doubled in the last 6 years.
    • The capital raised from start-ups and scale-ups has quadrupled in the last 6 years. 

    Antwerp scores for connectivity

    Moreover, Antwerp ranks 5th in the 'large cities' category for connectivity. Antwerp was praised for its  excellent connection to the world thanks to its port, which is home to 900 companies, five nearby airports within a 90 km radius, a strong rail and central road network and a rapidly expanding digital infrastructure. 

    Connectivity 2020/2021 - Large cities

    1. Rotterdam
    2. Manchester
    3. Frankfurt am Main
    4. Dusseldorf
    5. Antwerp
    6. Valencia
    7. Glasgow
    8. Sheffield
    9. Seville
    10. Hamburg

    A world of opportunities for entrepreneurs

    Antwerp is highly valued internationally as an investment location, which is also reflected in the many companies in various sectors that have opted for Antwerp in recent years:

    • INEOS selected Antwerp as the location for the largest investment in the chemical industry in Europe in the last 20 years.
    • BASF and Borealis have announced important investments in the port.
    • Kraft Heinz and VF Corporation settled in Antwerp.
    • The  marketplace for sustainable fashion The Canvas by Querencia opened its first store outside the USA in Antwerp. 
    • DHL Express decided to establish a new distribution centre at Blue Gate Antwerp.
    • BlueChem, an incubator for sustainable chemistry, will open this spring at Blue Gate Antwerp.

    Read more  about the opportunities and reasons to invest in Antwerp (EN)

      View the 2020/21 rankings from fDi


      • Online ranking of ‘European Cities and Regions of the Future 2020/21’:
      • The rankings are in the January 2020 edition of fDi Magazine, the investment magazine of Financial Times with more than 200,000 readers.