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Best Residence-by-Investment Cities for Business Index

A unique new analytical tool to assist international companies, entrepreneurs, and investors make strategic choices about where best to locate their headquarters, executives, employees, and themselves in a pandemic world.

Best Residence-by-Investment Cities for Business Index
London

 

London enjoys pride of place on the index due to its outstanding performance across the board — and security, stability, and infrastructure in particular

Population: 9,425,622
GDP per capita: GBP 56,199
Ease of Doing Business ranking: UK – 8
Minimum investment amount: GBP 2 million

London, the UK’s wealthiest metropole, brings in just over 23% of the nation’s GDP. The city’s innovativeness predominates in its financial industry and in the creative and digital services. A truly global city, and one of the world’s largest financial hubs, London is an established arena for international trade, housing the headquarters of more of Europe’s top 500 companies than any other city.

A business based in London gives access to its 9 million inhabitants and a talented, diverse, multilingual workforce as well as established healthcare facilities and prestigious education institutions. The leading city’s extensive opportunities for every member of the family are clearly why London is regarded as one of the world’s best cities for business.

Apply for residence in the UK here.

 
New York

 

New York leads the pack in terms of education and is home to more ultra-high-net-worth individuals than any other city globally

Population: 8,230,290
GDP per capita: USD 75,131
Ease of Doing Business ranking: USA – 6
Minimum investment amount: USD 500,000

New York city’s boundless entrepreneurial spirit and creative drive are alive on every street and sidewalk. The cultural and commercial heart of the USA, and its largest city, is leading the charge in terms of resilience and recovery. Culturally and ethnically diverse, New York is truly cosmopolitan and a hive of opportunity.

A commercially driven business hub, and America’s largest consumer base, New York is renowned for its advanced industrial, transport, finance, and trading industries, and its burgeoning tech industry. The Big Apple, home to several of the world’s leading international companies, holds the headquarters of two-thirds of the top 100 American corporations, many situated in Wall Street and surrounds — the city’s powerhouse.

Apply for residence in the USA here.

 
Sydney

 

Secure, stable, safe – Sydney ticks all the right boxes for business stability, and its strong economy attracts headquarters from a wide range of industries

Population: 4,991,654
GDP per capita: USD 86,500
Ease of Doing Business ranking: Australia – 14
Minimum investment amount: AUD 2.5 million (Investor Stream)

Investors around the globe are drawn to Sydney for many reasons, not least the clear lifestyle advantages. Its ease of access to the region makes Sydney an excellent location to extend your international presence in the Asia-Pacific. The business services and manufacturing sectors account for most of the employment within Australia’s financial hub, which also has a thriving start-up sector and welcomes international talent with incentives for foreign business investors.

Sydney is a favorite for the headquarters of international finance, technology, and mining institutions, while its well‑run government and parliament, and choice of several exceptional universities, guarantee residents an enviable standard of living and excellent education opportunities.

Apply for residence in Australia here.

 
Singapore

 

Small but robust Singapore abounds with opportunity and is a magnet for affluent business owners thanks to its stability and security

Population: 5,991,801
GDP per capita: USD 65,641
Ease of Doing Business ranking: Singapore – 2
Minimum investment amount: SGD 2.5 million

Singapore’s successful investment and modernization programs, improved education systems, and remarkable infrastructure redevelopment have seen the city‑state become an economic powerhouse, making it the perfect base for start-ups and multinationals. Strategically positioned, Singapore is home to the headquarters of 37,000 international companies and links over 600 ports in 120 countries.

Foreign investors are attracted by the city’s burgeoning trade and finance sectors, advanced infrastructure, highly skilled workforce, low corruption level, and low corporate tax rate, and highly value the strong government support and environment that is conducive to business. It also has a reliable legal system based on English common law.

Apply for residence in Singapore here.

 
Zurich

 

Zurich’s central European location, world-class infrastructure, and abiding political and economic stability make it a top choice for business owners

Population: 1,407,572
GDP per capita: USD 66,646
Ease of Doing Business ranking: Switzerland – 36
Minimum investment amount: CHF 250,000 annual taxes

Zurich — Switzerland’s financial hub and largest city — offers an extremely high standard of living. The global status enjoyed by the city in its banking and finance sectors, its lenient tax regime, and high GDP per capita are what merit the widely held opinion that the fast‑expanding metropolis of Zurich is a prosperous city in which to conduct business and increase wealth.

An outstanding advantage of Switzerland’s finance industry is its unique banking and insurance prospects. Often credited with being the best in the world, Swiss finance companies are well regulated and offer safe, private, and advanced financial services to distinguished investors and entrepreneurs universally.

Apply for residence in Switzerland here.

 
Los Angeles

 

Los Angeles is a leading hub for international trade and a major center for higher education, with a large, highly skilled workforce

Population: 3,983,540
GDP per capita: USD 67,763
Ease of Doing Business ranking: USA – 6
Minimum investment amount: USD 500,000

Home to numerous corporate headquarters, Los Angeles originally developed around its port — still North America’s most productive. The city enjoys excellent access to large national and international markets, and its mix of finance, technology, and entertainment industries, among many others, ranks it firmly as a key industrial city with a diversified economic base.

Attracting multi‑generational, multi‑ethnic cross sections of society, California’s largest, most populous city offers entrepreneurs and business owners a pool of highly skilled, talented individuals from which to recruit high-caliber employees. Reputedly a renowned center of higher education, Los Angeles lies within reach of several top institutions.

Apply for residence in the USA here.

 
Barcelona

 

Barcelona’s secure and stable environment is conducive to creativity and innovation, making it a magnet for scale-ups and start-ups alike

Population: 5,624,498
GDP per capita: EUR 43,700
Ease of Doing Business ranking: Spain – 30
Minimum investment amount: EUR 500,000

As Spain’s business center, commerce dominates Barcelona’s economic activities. Its most recognized industries are automobiles, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, electronics, and appliance manufacturing. With a well-established stock exchange, the city attracts international investors in the sciences and the arts, as well as entrepreneurs — all drawn to its highly competitive environment in a range of sectors, from industry to research.

Barcelona’s ‘Green New Deal’ is a vision for the future — a social and economic model based on competitiveness, fairness, and sustainability. Proud of making great strides towards the latter, in addition to its abundant green and natural zones, Barcelona makes use of hydroelectric power, receiving acclaim as one of the world’s most environmentally friendly cities.

Apply for residence in Spain here.

 
Hong Kong

 

Situated in the heart of Asia, Hong Kong is a prime business location and financial hub with a low and simple tax jurisdiction

Population: 7,598,189
GDP per capita: USD 46,324
Ease of Doing Business ranking: Hong Kong – 3
Minimum investment amount: Points-based system

A dynamic financial hub, the global city of Hong Kong is famed for its largescale, global business and retail sectors. Modern and entrepreneurial, as a gateway to mainland China and Asia it is well placed for conducting business in the region. The city operates a less conservative stock market than mainland China and is host to many commercial and international banking institutions.

A top world trading center, Hong Kong upholds free trade, imposing no import tariffs on most goods. Limited natural resources mean this vibrant citystate imports most raw materials, boasting robust manufacturing, trade, and shipping industries. Entrepreneurs flourish under this low tax administration’s supportive government policies.

Apply for residence in Hong Kong here.

 
Vienna

 

Vienna’s secure environment, high living standards, and top residence program make it a highly sought-after option for affluent investors

Population: 1,944,910
GDP per capita: EUR 45,200
Ease of Doing Business ranking: Austria – 27
Minimum investment amount: EUR 40,000 in liquid assets

Austria’s economic hub Vienna is the city chosen for the headquarters of many multinational companies. Vienna is the highest contributor to Austria’s GDP and is recognized as one of the EU’s top cities thanks to its high level of productivity and extremely capable labor force. Also a leader in Austria’s trade industry, Vienna produces just over half the nation’s capital goods and just under half its consumer goods.

Vienna’s well-run government, ample excellent education institutions, and outstanding health facilities are a few of the many reasons the city consistently ranks among the best in the world in which to live.

Apply for residence in Austria here.

 
Toronto

 

Toronto is a competitive global financial center with strong business and development prospects designed to attract investors and talent

Population: 6,254,571
GDP per capita: USD 45,771
Ease of Doing Business ranking: Canada – 23
Minimum investment amount: CAD 150,000

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and North America’s fastest growing metropole, promoting excellence in its education and its business sectors to encourage immigration and global investment and boost the economy. Its stable economy and highly skilled workforce are particularly appealing to foreign business owners and investors. Business costs are lower than most US cities, adding to Toronto’s profit potential.

Toronto’s accessibility to major shipping routes and US industrial centers makes this financial and commercial hub Canada’s focal point for international trading. The manufacturing and financial sectors are key to the economy, with finance gaining ground as Toronto’s stock exchange strengthens, and the city host’s the headquarters of many banks and financial institutions.

Apply for residence in Canada here.

 
Dubai

 

Dubai is a renowned leader for companies looking to expand thanks to its notable tax benefits, stable economy, and top transport system

Population: 2,921,376
Ease of Doing Business ranking: UAE – 16
Minimum investment amount: AED 5 million

The city of Dubai has reinvented itself and remains firmly committed to being a financial and economic hub for the emirates and the Middle East. Dubai has implemented investor‑friendly measures to maintain its regional hub status and strengthen its global portfolio. The city has invested significantly and fashioned itself into a world leader of lifestyle infrastructure of unlimited scope, providing comfortable, modern living.

Exemption from paying personal, corporate, and capital gains taxes, a low VAT rate, and its integrated approach to economic and financial policymaking, involving all key government departments, ensures the region’s attractiveness to foreign investors and continued accelerated economic growth.

Find out more about alternative residence options here.

 
St. Helier

 

St. Helier is a top financial center with a tax-neutral environment and a long track record of political and economic security

Population: 39,500
Minimum investment amount: GBP 125,000 annual taxes and GBP 1.75 million real estate

The capital of the Channel Island of Jersey, St. Helier offers an appealing blend of a highly desirable town in which to live and an advanced, international financial center in which to conduct business. With the island being roughly 14.5 km by 8 km, St. Helier provides a tranquil alternative to big city life.

St. Helier is considered the commercial, political, and social hub of Jersey, with most economic activities occurring in the financial services industry. The city's residents benefit from participation in Jersey’s attractive tax system, which cultivates an investment‑friendly environment in a politically and economically stable location.

Apply for residence in Jersey here.

 
Auckland

 

Auckland is an innovation hub with significant opportunities to start or grow your business in a stable environment

Population: 1,630,092
GDP per capita: USD 71,978
Ease of Doing Business ranking: New Zealand – 1
Minimum investment amount: NZD 3 million

Globally connected, increasingly cosmopolitan Auckland attracts talent, entrepreneurs, and tech innovators from around the world. The professional, scientific, and technical services are major growth contributors to employment, and New Zealand’s capital is the nation’s leading economic region, generating almost 40% of the country’s GDP.

Optimally located as a gateway to the Asia‑Pacific, over 100 multinational companies operate from Auckland. Home to a booming tech sector, specialist manufacturing industries, and a billion-dollar screen production industry, this powerhouse city is a magnet for foreign direct investment. Its excellent air, rail, road, and ship transportation systems essentially support the goods-producing industry so vital to the national economy.

Apply for residence in New Zealand here.

 
Lisbon

 

Lisbon is open to foreign investors and offers safety, security, exceptional tertiary education, and an excellent quality of life

Population: 2,971,587
GDP per capita: EUR 30,900
Ease of Doing Business ranking: Portugal – 39
Minimum investment amount: EUR 250,000

As the center of Portugal’s political, financial, and commercial activities, Lisbon plays host to the headquarters of many multinational corporations. Facilitating imports and exports through its harbor, the busy port city is an asset to the region’s trade activities and growth.

Lisbon is highly attractive to businesses with economic activities in the tertiary education sector, specifically the science and engineering industries. The city accounts for the highest number of researchers and the highest per capita ratio of PhD’s in science and technology in the country. Lisbon is well‑placed by way of its many excellent universities, state-of-the-art laboratories, and other top research facilities, all of which cultivate and advance such specialist academic activity. 

Apply for residence in Portugal here.

 
Dublin

 

Dublin’s pro-business environment and Ireland’s EU membership make it a prime location for business owners

Population: 1,241,953
GDP per capita: EUR 24,969
Ease of Doing Business ranking: Ireland – 24
Minimum investment amount: EUR 500,000 endowment (or EUR 400,000 each for five investors)

Capital city and chief port, Dublin is the heart of Ireland’s strong, open economy. This center of commerce brings in over 50% of Ireland’s GDP and accounts for 43% of national employment. Financial services and manufacturing are major industries — in particular, brewing and distilling, food processing, and textile manufacturing.

Over 1,600 foreign companies are based in Dublin, among them nine of the world’s top ten pharmaceutical companies, the world’s top five tech and digital companies, and half of the world’s top 50 banks. Ireland’s financial hub with its appealing tax incentives is one of Europe’s most attractive cities for foreign direct investment and a popular destination for many Brexit relocations. 

Find out more about alternative residence options here.

 
Rome

 

Rome’s central position in Europe and openness to foreign investors make it a highly attractive option for business relocation

Population: 4,278,350
GDP per capita: USD 35,099
Ease of Doing Business ranking: Italy – 58
Minimum investment amount: EUR 250,000

Rome — the capital city of Europe’s third-largest economy — has become an administrative and financial hub that is attracting investors from across the globe. Located in the heart of Italy, Rome is a key transportation nexus and bridge between Europe and Africa, making it an excellent location for international trade.

With a well-developed banking sector, the economy of the Eternal City relies mainly on commerce and service provision. The Italian government supports and encourages foreign investment, offering incentives that include discounted interest rates, tax benefits, and attractive investment grants.

Apply for residence in Italy here.

 
Riga

 

Riga provides a pro-business environment and excellent support for foreign investment, including attractive tax allowances

Population: 627,763
GDP per capita: EUR 21,078
Ease of Doing Business ranking: Latvia – 19
Minimum investment amount: EUR 250,000

The relatively small size of Latvia’s capital Riga compared to other important European cities is increasingly appealing to many investors. The port city is ideally positioned to handle cargo for the whole Baltic region and its accessibility to large Eastern markets, well‑developed logistics, free trade, and political stability are significant incentives for business owners.

The top five business sectors in Riga are STEM and ICT, wholesale and retail, real estate construction and development, business services, and manufacturing, and the city generates about 50% of Latvia’s GDP.

Apply for residence in Latvia here.

 
Monaco

 

Monaco has a diverse economy and a highly developed banking system as well as lifestyle and tax advantages that hold great appeal

Population: 38,976
GDP per capita: USD 190,513
Minimum investment amount: No minimum investment

Covering just 2 km, the Principality of Monaco’s great reputation far exceeds its size. Although it is not an EU member, Monaco has established permanent relations with the bloc and belongs to the Eurozone. It also has bilateral and reciprocal agreements with France. The Monegasque government pro-actively encourages economic growth, and the city-state is very open to international trade and foreign investment. 

A hub for ultra-high-net-worth individuals, many factors make the Principality an excellent location for investors. Its world-class infrastructure, political stability and security, advantageous tax system, strategic position between Southern and Northern Europe, and Eastern and Western Europe, with access to the Mediterranean, are all strong drawcards.

Apply for residence in Monaco here.

 
Limassol

 

Limassol benefits from Cyprus’s EU membership and is becoming a leading regional financial center, with an attractive tax regime and excellent infrastructure

Population: 184,000
Ease of Doing Business ranking: Cyprus – 54
Minimum investment amount: EUR 330,000

At the crossroads of Europe, Africa, and Asia, Limassol is an important trade link for Cyprus and beyond, and its port is a buoyant trading base where traditional and modern industries co-exist to support the country’s economy. The city has benefited from rapid growth in Cyprus’s finance and IT industries. The financial services industry is a pillar of the economy, and over 8,000 professionals are employed to support the IT sector in Limassol alone.

The government is pro-business and Cyprus has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the EU. Strategic investment decisions over the last 50 years have seen the country’s second most inhabited city rise to be ranked one of the world’s most up-and-coming destinations in which to operate and reside.

Apply for residence in Cyprus here.

 
Athens

 

Athens is becoming increasingly attractive due to its pro-business environment, with tax cuts and other incentives for foreign investors

Population: 3,153,255
GDP per capita: USD 40,533
Ease of Doing Business ranking: Greece – 79
Minimum investment amount: EUR 250,000

Acknowledged as a global city for its location and importance in multiple sectors, from arts and entertainment to education and culture, to finance and shipping, Athens is a hub of commerce and trade. Economic activity is largely commercial, focusing strongly on manufacturing, and earnings in Athens far surpass the national average.

Resilience towards the effects of the global pandemic is evidenced by the city's recovery. A more relaxed, less bureaucratic business environment is renewing investor interest, sustained investment is resurfacing, and the job market is gaining momentum. For a myriad good reasons, Athens is rapidly regaining ground as a desirable investment destination.

Apply for residence in Greece here.

 
Valletta

 

Valletta offers an excellent quality of life and a competitive tax regime, attracting many affluent investors from all over the world

Population: 5,891
GDP per capita: USD 27,884
Ease of Doing Business ranking: Malta – 88
Minimum investment amount: EUR 175,000

Malta’s capital city of Valletta is the epicenter of the island nation’s commerce and administration industries, and excellently located for business. Centrally positioned in the Mediterranean, with two major harbors, Valetta is a crucial seaport. Numerous banks and international companies keep their headquarters in the city, benefiting from its flexible, cost-friendly workforce. 

To minimize bureaucracy and streamlining processes the Maltese government has implemented a single regulator for the financial sector, enabling investors to develop their business in a safe environment. The city’s diversified economy consists of established industries such as manufacturing, gaming, and IT — the first regulatory framework for cryptocurrency was established in Malta.

Apply for residence in Malta here.

 
Sofia

 

Sofia’s low tax rate and highly skilled IT workforce make it an excellent option for investors seeking an alternative EU location

Population: 1,284,311
GDP per capita: EUR 17,101
Ease of Doing Business ranking: Bulgaria – 61
Minimum investment amount: BGN 1 million

Sofia — the sophisticated capital of Bulgaria — enjoys a number of competitive advantages over other European cities. It offers investors the opportunity to benefit from a low cost of living, a youthful but highly‑educated, skilled, and qualified workforce, and a strong business infrastructure with a simple business registration process.

Sofia’s stable economy, strengthened by the EU’s financial support and advances in key industries such as IT, makes the city an increasingly popular Balkan destination, particularly for entrepreneurs and start-ups. Sofia has a beneficial tax rate that is one of the lowest in the EU, and a 0% corporate tax incentive for foreign manufacturing investors.

Find out more about alternative residence options here.

 
Bangkok

 

Bangkok is a cost-effective gateway to Asia, with a stable economy and government incentives for foreign business owners

Population: 10,722,815
Ease of Doing Business ranking: Thailand – 21
Minimum investment amount: THB 600,000

Thailand’s cosmopolitan capital provides convenient access to Southeast Asia and lies at the heart of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Bangkok’s world-class infrastructure means businesses can run their operations with ease, and Suvarnabhumi International Airport (the world’s seventh largest) and Don Mueang International Airport connect the megacity to the world.

The Thai government’s pro-active policies actively encourage socio-economic development. Foreign investment in financial and industrial sectors is on the rise, with numerous incentives to attract global investors, including tax exemptions and import duty concessions. Low costs for goods, services, and operations gives Bangkok a competitive edge, where a high standard of living can be enjoyed for a relatively low investment.

Apply for residence in Thailand here.

 
Port Louis

 

Port Louis in Mauritius is a safe, well-governed, stable African hub, perfectly positioned between Asia and Europe, with attractive tax incentives

Population: 155,226
Ease of Doing Business ranking: Mauritius – 13
Minimum investment amount: USD 375,000

Port Louis is the economic, cultural, and political capital of the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius. The Mauritius Stock Exchange is highly respected thanks to the country's strong democracy and political stability, and is situated in Port Louis' financial district.   As a top-level Exclusive Economic Zone, the presence of numerous multinational companies endorses Port Louis as an excellent location for business.

Perhaps better known for an appealing island lifestyle, Mauritius has grown to become a top investment destination in Africa and hub for business on the continent. ownership rights, low taxes, and an advanced banking system have enabled Mauritius to grow in key industries and form strong membership bonds across several multi-country unions, allowing for ease of trading. 

Apply for residence in Mauritius here.

 
Kuala Lumpur

 

Kuala Lumpur is a Southeast Asian hub, perfectly positioned for e-commerce, with a talented workforce and a relatively low corporate tax

Population: 8,210,745
GDP per capita: USD 30,554
Ease of Doing Business ranking: Malaysia – 12
Minimum investment amount: MYR 150,000

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, is gaining prominence as a destination for business expansion prompted by the trend among multinational corporations towards central operating models in strategic locations. Malaysia has a 10‑year strategy to attract the world’s 100 fastest growing companies and multinationals, and to establish regional services and technology hubs in the country by 2030 — many in Kuala Lumpur.

The rapid pace of development in Kuala Lumpur has seen the city evolve into a thriving metropolis. Benefiting from its swift growth, its residents enjoy world-class connectivity and hi‑tech capacity, a green ecosystem, and an integrated transport system. Investors in the high-tech sector enjoy tax incentives and the advantages of a multi-lingual workforce, educationally primed for the future.

Apply for residence in Malaysia here.

 
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