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London 'still the most influential city'


London's financial centre status means it is still the world's most influential city, according to Forbes.

London's exceptional position as a financial centre ensures it remains the single most influential city in the world, according to Forbes magazine.

The US publication said the UK capital stays ahead of New York and far ahead of other major global cities - such as Paris and Tokyo - largely due to factors like its huge financial services sector.

Forbes considered a range of factors that highlighted London as the most influential, including the Z/Yen Group’s 2013 Global Financial Centres Index. Other factors marking out the city as being especially important included the English language and its emergence as Europe's leading centre for tech start-ups.

Discussing London's status, Forbes said: "London not only has a long history as a dominant global financial hub, but its location outside the United States and the eurozone keeps it away from unfriendly regulators. Compared to New York, it is also time-zone advantaged for doing business in Asia."

The publication even listed London as the most connected city by air in the world bar Dubai, with 89 per cent of global cities outside Europe being served by at least three flights a week.

All this means that London appears well set to retain its pre-eminent position as a financial centre, which means candidates seeking jobs in areas such as accountancy or banking may find plenty of openings available in the capital.

The benefits of being well connected with the rest of the world may be enhanced further in due course, as both Heathrow and Gatwick are proposing to add an extra runway to increase air capacity.

While Gatwick is bound by a 30-year agreement not to build a second runway, that will expire in 2019,. At the same time, the commitment of both parties in the coalition government not to expand Heathrow only applies to the current parliament.

The Davies Commission on the issue will report back next year, but not until after the general election in May. This means either - or both - of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats could choose to drop the commitment not to expand Heathrow when they write their manifestos and thus have unfettered freedom to follow the commission's recommendations.

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