Copenhagen positioned well in competitiveness study

City earns top-30 finish in Economist study, but placing marred by weak economy

Copenhagen has earned high marks in a new Economist study thanks to its large, skilled, healthy and productive labour force, but the Danish capital ranks 23 overall in the 120 city competitiveness survey due to its low ranking for economic strength.


The Economist Intelligence Unit looked at eight criteria of competitiveness in assessing major cities: human capital, economic strength, social and cultural character, institutional effectiveness, financial maturity, environmental and natural hazards, global appeal and physical capital.


Denmark's best placing was in the 'human capital' category, where it ranked third. According to Kim Bek, the development coordinator for investment agency Copenhagen Capacity, the city's good results here were due to free access to good universities.


“We have a lot of advanced courses in our further education system,” Bek told MetroXpress newspaper. “Everyone has access to them and internationally this is unique and essential for companies looking to employ highly skilled workers.”


While Copenhagen finished in the top 40 in seven of the categories, a poor showing in 'economic strength', ranking outside the top 60 behind cities like Bogota, Krakow and Panama City, saw the Danish capital finish up 23rd overall.


But while Bek said the result is something to be proud of, he warned Danes not to rest on their laurels when it came to human capital.


“This area will be paramount to the competitive edge of Copenhagen because it is an integral component in living up to the demands of businesses,” he said. “We should definitely mention the high placing to the foreign businesses we interact with, but we should keep working at it to make it even better.”


Ranked equally with Houston, Copenhagen was the second-ranked Scandinavian city, coming in three places behind Stockholm.