• France's news in English

Future of Paris 'not promising', study says

Joshua Melvin · 20 Aug 2014, 12:19

Published: 20 Aug 2014 12:19 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

France is struggling with high unemployment and a stagnant economy, but that has not kept its capital from being classed among the wealthiest and most powerful cities in the world.

The study from a group of American academics and researchers titled “Size is not the answer: The Changing face of the global city,” which first appeared on Forbes.com, gives the top slots to London and New York.

Their vibrant economies, diverse populations, transport connections, large amount of direct foreign investment and the high concentration of global business headquarters make those two cities centres of global influence.

Paris had many of the same features, but with some caveats, wrote one of the study authors Joel Kotkin in a post on Forbes.com.

“Paris may rank third in our survey, but it is way below New York and London by virtually every critical measure, and the city’s future is not promising given that France, and much of the EU, are mired in relative economic stagnation,” Kotkin wrote.

"Paris’s high ranking is partly the product of the city’s utter domination of the still sizable French economy and the concentration of virtually all the country’s leading companies there.”

However, no other European capitals made it into the top 10 Paris’s closest competitors on the continent, according to the study’s authors, were Zurich, Switzerland and Frankfurt, Germany, which landed at 13th and 14th respectively.

Twelve reasons to invest in Paris and seven to make you think twice 

Interestingly, size is not not what makes a city influential, according to the study’s authors. They argue the notion that size makes for power is an outdated notion.

London and New York both have 8.4 million residents, while the greater Paris region has some 11.9 million inhabitants (2.3 million people within Paris). Yet a city like Beijing, which came eighth on the study, is home to nearly 20 million people.

"Today size is not so important: Of the world’s 10 most populous cities, only Tokyo, New York and Beijing are in the top 10 of our ranking of the world’s most important cities. Instead, what matters today is influence," Kotkin wrote. 

Earlier this year the head of the Greater Paris Investment Agency Chiara Corazza said there was "cry of alarm" in Paris, because the city was losing its competitiveness to foreign cities.

Story continues below…

In an interview with The Local however Chiara said that most foreign investors who come to Paris will find they can still make money.

“When investors come here, they discover there is a market here to do business. You just have to tell them to look at the results of investors who have come here in the last 10 years and they will see that most of them have increased turnover by 20 percent.

“When they come to Paris they find the skills and good infrastructure and the telecommunications,” she says. “Energy is less expensive here. They find professional workers who are reliable. They find an efficient state and an efficient administration and they find a good balance between the quality of life and work.”

Joshua Melvin (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available