In September, audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) published its 2016 ranking of "Cities of Opportunity", this selection is determined based on a number of economic, social and cultural indicators. Whatever the proponents of "French bashing" may say, Paris remains attractive as this year the capital came in fourth place behind London, Singapore and Toronto. Despite the Brexit announcement at the beginning of the year, three European capitals managed to make it into the top 5.
Of the 30 cities ranked this year, Paris came top in 9 out of 10 of the criteria groups used in the report, meaning that it is the most consistent of the global cities listed. Paris took the top spot for quality of life, even though this is not necessarily the first impression one may have. Paris achieved good scores due to its public transport (ranked number 1), its cultural diversity (2nd) and public gardens (3rd), placing it in joint position alongside New York. In this criteria group, Paris was only placed in 7th position in 2014.
In terms of intellectual property and innovation, Paris fell to 4th place whereas it was ranked in first place in 2014. Although the capital may be good at training researchers, it does have difficulties in transforming that potential into entrepreneurship.
Fourth most expensive city, it comes as no surprise that Parisian rents (for both commercial and residential) are high, even though purchasing power in Paris is substantial (ranked 9).
Finally, Paris was penalised by the economic climate's lack of attractiveness. It may hold 7th place in terms of productivity, 9th in foreign investment and 3rd for headquarters, but economic indicators knock it back into 8th place, particularly employment growth.
The capital should not therefore be embarrassed by its 2016 results. However, given the effects of the threat of terrorism or even Brexit, it remains to be seen if Paris can retain its ranking for the report's next edition.