For foreign companies looking to create a European base of operations, deciding on the best possible location should be one of the first considerations. Europe is home to many world-renowned business centres. Frankfurt, Brussels, Barcelona, ??Munich, Amsterdam; etc.
Served by three major airports, Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, there are flights to every major global destination, but more importantly, most destinations in Western Europe are less than two hours away. At the same time, Brussels and Paris can be reached in the same amount of time via the excellent Eurostar service.
The mayor of the London Economic Strategy Paper states that over the next ten to fifteen years, it is estimated that between 1,400 and 3,200 companies from China, Taiwan, South Korea and India may consider moving to Europe.
Although these numbers are staggering, it is not surprising that companies are being tempted to prove themselves in London, despite the recent recession. However, it still manages 52 billion pounds a year in foreign direct investment, and 22 billion pounds of tourism And 1.5 billion pounds of 93,000 students.
A city capable of sustaining this type of income during one of the worst known recessions ever is undoubtedly something special. It deserves serious consideration as a business base, especially among Latin American companies looking to establish a successful and profitable European presence alongside a safe and acceptable lifestyle And satisfactory to their families and employees.
In 2009, a cost-of-living survey conducted by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) found that for the first time since 2002, living in London was now cheaper than New York. Encouraged by this, and in an attempt to attract foreign companies to set up in the capital, the Mayor of London has provided a “business incubator” service. In partnership with a leading office services supplier, new companies can currently take advantage of free office space and facilities for up to twelve months along with reliable support throughout the process of creating an operation in London.
The UK tax system is also very favourable, with corporate tax now falling from 30% to 28%. The highest rate of income tax is 50% and VAT at 17.5%. Additionally, since there are fewer restrictions on foreign ownership and doing business than any other European country, newcomers will benefit from startup times faster.
Families will also find opportunities to enjoy and discover all that London has to offer as they settle into their new lives. For those who don’t speak or know very little about English, there are classes available throughout the city that specialize in teaching English to foreign visitors. Continuing education for their children is, of course, a significant priority for most parents, and London certainly has no shortage of schools for all ages, including international schools and colleges.
Entertainment and lifestyle – it’s not all work and no play!
From a lifestyle point of view, London is a city that can be frantic one minute and calm the next day. It is a vibrant, vibrant, cosmopolitan, cosmopolitan, elegant city full of iconic images, from Big Ben and the Red London buses to Nelson Column and the Tower of London Pevitters. There is no shortage of things to see and do.
Fully packed with history, London is also home to art galleries containing the works of Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso and Constable, to name a few. Ballet fans can experience international performances by members of the English National Ballet Ensemble with productions such as Swan Lake, Nutcracker and Giselle. At the same time, opera buffs can enjoy classics such as Cosi Fan Tutte, La Boheme and La Traviata.
Theatre and cinema
The West End is home to one of the oldest theatrical areas in the world, with many world-class movie stars and highly-represented actors playing the show to sell fans almost every weekday. The classic Les Miserables game started in 1985 and is still playing 25 years. Cinemas are plentiful, most notably Leicester Square Cinema where the UK’s premier star performances like famous Harry Potter films are always a big attraction.
The noise is outside.
Eating in London always involves having to choose in advance. In addition to the most well-known restaurants such as The Grill at The Dorchester, Mezzanine and La Gavroche, the city is filled with thousands of smaller establishments serving excellent cuisine from all over the world. The fun is to discover them all.
A cruise on the Thames River is a great way to see places like Bridge Tower, Tower of London, Houses of Parliament and the Eye of London, while Hyde Park is an excellent place for picnics and leisurely walks. Open sightseeing buses take you to Trafalgar Square, Oxford Street, Royal Albert Hall and countless other sights to explore.
In addition to well-known names like Harvey Nichols and Selfridges, London is also home to more exclusive stores like Fortnum & Mason and of course Harrods. DeBeers on Old Bond Street is the perfect place to buy diamonds. Prada will delight women’s fashion enthusiasts, while men in chic outfits can get handcrafted costumes from world-famous tailors at Saville Row, such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Gieves & Hawkes and Hardy Amies.
Successful entry into the UK
Before being able to enjoy life in the capital, a significant issue: obtaining visas must be addressed. For the uninformed, this is a region that can disturb more detailed plans, and in many cases, destroy it, so it is not only advisable but necessary to get the services of an immigration expert so that everything goes smoothly.
British immigration specialist Monica Gablica of London-based Migra & Co is aware of the difficulties faced by companies and individuals trying to navigate the visa application process.