UK scores with low cost commerce

A major study by KPMG Consulting, which compares the costs of doing business among 64 cities in eight countries, has shown that the UK has the lowest business costs in Europe. The survey, which comprised the G7 countries plus Austria, placed Canada as the lowest cost country overall, with the UK second and the USA third. Japan was ranked eighth.

Charles Thoma, principal consultant in Global Location and Expansion Services with KPMG Consulting, said: “The results of this study are extremely good news for the UK’s prospect of attracting inward investment, particularly for non-EU companies looking for a European base.”

The study analysed nine industry sectors – including electronics, pharmaceuticals, software and telecommunications equipment – in 46 Canadian and American, 15 European and three Japanese cities. Countries were ranked according to business start up and operating costs over the first 10 years of trading.

The UK and Canada showed the lowest overall labour costs, while the UK and Austria enjoyed the most modest corporate income tax rates and the UK and Germany showed the lowest overall freight costs.

Thoma continued: “The three UK cities included in the survey were Telford, Cardiff and Manchester, which were placed first, second and third respectively in a table of lowest cost European cities. This demonstrates both that the UK remains an extremely attractive place in which to invest, and that large regional cities, away from the capital, are thriving areas for business and commerce.”

The US was superseded by Canada in key areas such as labour.

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