Comment: Some good news amid all the doom and gloom

amid all the economic doom and gloom following the Brexit vote, it is always welcome to hear some good news.

Monday, 12th December 2016, 5:28 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 12:32 pm
Edinburgh has been named as one of the top cities in which to invest in the world

It may not be the snappiest title going - the Global Cities for the Future Foreign Direct Investment Strategy award - but don’t underestimate the significance of Edinburgh’s latest accolade. At a time when cities around the world, not least across the UK, are facing great uncertainty about their economic prospects this is a great shot in the arm for the Capital.

What it means is that Edinburgh has a better plan than any other city around the world for attracting new companies to set up in business here and for supporting existing firms to expand. That’s no mean feat. Just look at the list of cities that were considered to be close behind us, but not quiet as good, including Hong Kong, Chicago, Barcelona and London.

There are lots of reasons that Edinburgh is now such an attractive city for companies looking for a new base, including the exceptionally high quality of life and the disincentive created by the overheated property market in London. But one key reason is the work that has been going on quietly for quite some time now at the city council to sell the Capital to potential investors and to support those who show an interest in moving here.

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Why this all matters is that these firms are creating the jobs of the future. We don’t know yet what impact Brexit will have on Edinburgh and the wider UK economy, but we have to be concerned about the potential damage that new barriers between us and the rest of Europe could have as well as the loss of EU research grants.

Of course these plaudits mean nothing without company chief executive’s drawing the same conclusion above Edinburgh’s merits, but increasingly they are doing just that.

The future is still extremely uncertain right now but this certainly puts a rosier tint on the murky road ahead.