European Business Travel: The UK and Ireland
By Sam Lucas
For the last 30 years the UK has greatly expanded its attempts to attract global businesses to its shores. An old and extremely stable political situation, twinned with a liberalised economy, has transformed the country into a hive of economic activity. Not only is the UK now considered one of the best places in the world to do business, it has also been ranked by the World Bank as the easiest country in Europe in which to set up a business, taking an average of only 13 days. It also has the fewest barriers to entrepreneurship in the world and one of the most flexible labour markets in Europe.
At the heart of this thriving hub of business is London, the capital city and home to around 8 million people. The City of London – a smaller city within the area of Greater London and often referred to as the ‘Square Mile’ due to its compact size – is home to over 500 banks as well as the London Stock Exchange, Lloyd’s of London and the Bank of England. Fleet Street, a road within the Square Mile, was formerly the home to many British national newspapers but is now a focal point for investment banking and accountancy firms. As such, it is awash with world-class restaurants and bars that are perfectly suited for business meetings to impress your clients. When visiting central London for business purposes, it is often best to use public transport as traffic in the area can quickly become static and many streets operate a one-way system. The City of London is well served by 11 stations of the London Underground Network and a number of over ground railway services. It may also be best to use a concierge service to organise any travel arrangements, saving you the trouble of arranging taxis and worrying about traffic.
Just over an hour’s flight across the Irish Sea is Dublin, the economic centre of the Republic of Ireland and the driving powerhouse behind the country’s rapid economic expansion during the Celtic Tiger period. Investment has attracted a number of global pharmaceutical, information and communications technology companies to the city, and businesses including Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Twitter, and Pfeizer now have their European headquarters or operations in the Capital. Dublin, much like London, has a wide range of luxury hotels that provide top-class facilities, making it easy to find accommodation that is located perfectly for any business meetings you may have.
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