Forbes has listed the best cities for business in 2018. Forbes has created the list according to the medium wage, foreign investments, unemployment rates, the number of active companies, profit, infrastructure and the number of schools and residential units. Forbes has also taken into consideration the existence of nearby airports.
Forbes wanted to examine and see the differences between the counties’ economies, their potential and the advantages for potential investors.
Bucharest has been chosen as number one for the second time because it is considered the best Romanian city for business. Although, Forbes noted that it might lose its place. This is because although the city has an international airport, the airport badly needs refurbishment and a new wing as it is getting crowded. Last year over 12 million people flew through the airport. Bucharest is also a regional centre of East and South Central Europe. This year there have been many investments in the area, including Amazon opening some offices and looking to hire over 1,300 people in their IT sector. As well, several buildings comprising over 14,000 flats will be built, a new office tower will be in construction and a residential area for 600 flats is set to be built by diverse companies.
Timisoara was number one in the past Forbes’ list. The city was chosen for its business opportunities. Timisoara aims to become a smart city, it already has free wi-fi in the city centre and on its buses. The city benefits of its great location being located between two European commercial routes, the Rhine-Danube route and the Bucharest-Pitesti-Sibiu-Timisoara-Nadlac route. Another advantage of Timisoara city stands in its airport which has direct routes to Munich, Rome, Barcelona, Paris, London, Madrid and Milano. In the last 15 years Timisoara has developed intensively, over 70% of the active companies in the area being foreign. The most valuable and profitable business in the area is Recas wineries.
The city of Cluj-Napoca is often in the news due to its many cultural activities. It is developing in such a way that Forbes believes it will soon be the number on city in Romania. Cluj-Napoca is a smart city- it has free wi-fi in the city centre, it has an app that monitors and helps with car parking, there are several charging pods where electric cars can be charged, people can pay their taxes online, and electric buses are the norm. The council also allows its residents to vote on local projects and residents can also come up with their own projects. The council has approved several of these projects such as : the Green Cluj- for every 3 parking spaces there should be one tree planted, vertical gardens, units for intelligent recycling. As well, the city benefits of its international airport its traffic grew with 43% last year. The city has started to benefit from a tourism growth, due to its two festivals Electric castle and Untold.
The city has many projects that will be implemented this year, such as a smart pedestrian crossing and monitoring traffic through a dispatcher. The car and airplane industry is currently thriving. Brasov is also benefiting from tourism thanks to its location. Last year the city had 1,27 million tourists which is an increase of 14,4% from last year. The city has many areas where tourists can ski,hiking trails and historic monuments.
Arad has the most advanced system of public lightning with LED in Romania. The whole city lightning system will become digital until 2020 when everything will be controlled with digital systems. The city also has 30 internet hotspots and 330 internet access points. Thanks to the highway, Arad has also a strategic location as it is near the border with Hungary.
Constanta has fallen from the 5th place to the 6th having the weakest performance since the Forbes list was created. The city can be considered only partly a smart city. It has one intelligent car parking place and ti has many other smart city projects that will be implemented in the future, however these will have a small impact on the local businesses. The highest source of profit is the port, although port traffic was reduced last year with 1,8%. As well, new hotels will be built in Neptun-Olimp and Navodari.In Constanta there are currently 120 hotels and tourism has increased with 4% from the previous year.
Forbes has declared Alba-Iulia the absolute champion of smart cities in Romania. The city has implemented 72 smart projects. Siemens has included Alba-Iulia in their Smart Cities Research projects together with London, Bruxelles and Aberdeen. The city has free wi-fi, bike renting service,smart public lightning, digital catalogues for 20 public schools, 24/7 call medical services. Alba -Iulia has also attracted investors in the car sector.
Slowly, the city of Oradea has been raised in the Forbes list thanks to its recent developments. Oradea is considered the second smartest city in Romania. This is due to its 20 smart projects that have been implemented so far. The city has free wi-fi, intelligent parking and e-governance. The city, similar to Cluj-Napoca will soon finance projects that are proposed by its residents. Each year 10 projects will be chosen and each one of them will have a budget of 200,000 euros.
Sibiu has competed with Arad in the Forbes list. It is currently considered a smart city thanks to its 11 projects. The city council has an online platform where people can pay their taxes. As well, the city has focused on the efficient management of electric energy. Sibiu also has intelligent public lightning, CCTV and Wi-Fi. Sibiu also has an international airport with direct routes to London, Stuttgart, Madrid and Vienna.
The city has only 8 projects that qualify Iasi as a smart city. Iasi is renowned for having a big IT community, as 1500 IT students graduate yearly. Last year the city has won the Emerging City of the Year award at the CEE Shared Services and Outsourcing Awards in Poland. The city has beaten Debrecen, Kaunas and Plovdiv. Due to its proximity to Moldova the city also attracts many immigrants. In the last year it attracted 5 times more immigrants than Bucharest. The council is now planing to build several bridges across the river and to revitalize its cinemas.