On 16 February the major of Milan, in conjunction with the Italian Foreign Affairs minister and the Treasury minister, held a press conference announcing that Milan was targeting to compete with other European capitals in order to attract companies moving out from London after Brexit, especially in the financial sector. At first glance, Italian politicians seem to have gone beyond their means with this statement. Indeed, there are several better positioned European cities competing for this coveted, yet challenging role. For example, Paris is the only economic agglomerate comparable in size to London; Frankfurt is a larger financial hub than Milan; and Amsterdam and Dublin have closer links to the US.
Milan has seen significant renovation and improvement over the last decade thanks to real estate, infrastructure and social developments which have given the city an international profile. On the real estate side, recent developments created, almost from scratch, a modern Central Business District (CBD) with an overall quality level similar to other major European cities. This was the only development of its kind across the whole of Europe in recent times. Infrastructure projects have improved local transport (eg. new metro stations) as well as national and international connectivity (eg. high speed train enhancements). Furthermore, the population is itself becoming more international. Foreign university students statistics may be interesting in understanding it better. Milan gradually became the largest city in Italy in terms of foreign student population, which has grown by more than 10% per year in the last decade. Today there are more than 12,000 foreign students in Milan universities, accounting for 17% of all foreign students in Italy and 7% of the total student population in the city (but the share increases well above 10% in Bocconi University and in Politecnico).
Source : UBS AG