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Factors used in the Global Financial Centers Index model are grouped into five broad areas of competitiveness: business environment, human capital, infrastructure, financial sector development, and reputation.

New York took the number one spot in the most recent analysis, though its change in rating fell slightly from the year before. Centers with notable increases in their ratings include Shanghai, Guangzhou, Amsterdam, Doha, Vienna, Milan, and Mexico City.

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Missing out on high-growth

Switzerland also apparently is losing attractiveness as a corporate hub.

Between 2009 and 2013, it captured 27% of worldwide or regional headquarters relocations, new R&D centers or operational centers, or financial holding companies that moved to one of five major European business hubs, according to the McKinsey study. Switzerland’s share was tied with Ireland’s, and ahead of the UK, Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

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But among relocations from 2014 to 2018, Switzerland captured just a 19% share, dropping it to third place behind Ireland and the Netherlands.

The report suggests Switzerland has missed opportunities arising from relocations by major multinationals such as Apple, Amazon, Alibaba, Facebook, Netflix, LinkedIn, Airbnb, Starbucks, Tesla, and Uber. Meanwhile, only 5% of the top 250 Chinese companies chose Switzerland over other European locations for their headquarters.

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The exception is Google, which added an R&D center in Switzerland in 2016. Oracle Labs and Facebook also built small-scale R&D centers.

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