24 Feb 2023

Cork City voted top small European city for economic potential and second overall

Cork City has again scored best in class at the Financial Times European Cities and Regions of the Future awards.  The city has been named no.1 small European city for Economic Potential, the second year in a row the city has topped the prestigious table.   

Cork has seen significant FDI investment and development over the last number of decades, with many leading brands including Apple, Johnson Controls and Pfizer choosing the location to further global success.

Cork has been at the forefront of FDI in Ireland across a number of sectors

Among the regions many attractive elements are a highly qualified workforce, with ambitious and motivated science, engineering and technology graduates emerging from world class academic institutions.  Over 150 overseas companies now employ 35,000 people in Cork, each benefitting from  a collaborative business environment.

The overall table for small european cities

In addition to topping the Economic Potential list, Cork was second overall in the Small European Cities of the Future, and placed 4th for business friendliness, making for a powerful endorsement of the business and investment eco-system.

The Financial Times European Cities and Regions of the Future awards benchmarked locations for their attractiveness to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), with over 350 cities assessed and grouped by population size into five categories: major, large, mid-sized, small, and micro cities. Each was ranked based on data collected across five subcategories:

  • Economic Potential
  • Business Friendliness
  • Connectivity
  • Human Capital
  • Lifestyle
  • Cost-Effectiveness.

In their assessment, the Financial Times referenced the opening of the recent container terminal in the Port of Cork, the future regeneration of the Cork City Docklands, and the projected population increase saying that

All these developments bode well for foreign investors, of which Cork has no shortage”.

THe docklands and port of cork activity were both referenced as being important elements of cork’s current and future potential

Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Deirdre Forde said

“I am delighted to welcome this news. This international recognition adds further confidence to the already present local and national confidence in Cork City’s future. Cork City has experienced a great level of investment and economic growth in recent times resulting in a higher quality of life for our citizens. Cork City Council and the people of Cork will continue to work together to ensure a bright future for our City”.

Cork City Council Chief Executive, Ann Doherty said

“I echo the sentiment and comments of the Lord Mayor. For the second year in a row, Cork City has been recognised as the no.1 small European city for Economic Potential and 2nd overall across various categories in the fDi Intelligence European Cities and Regions of the Future awards. This news is greatly welcomed and is proof that the work and collaboration between Cork City Council and all the key Cork City Stakeholders is paying dividends. Cork City is poised to take its place as one of the premier small European Cities to live, work and invest in.

Read the full report here –

Learn more about doing business in Cork here –