London remains a 'very solid' city despite Brexit, consulting firm says

Key Points
  • London remains an attractive destination as a city despite an impending Brexit, according to A.T. Kearney's 2018 Global Cities Report.
  • There is a need to differentiate between "short-term market volatility to the long-term basis, the long-term fundamentals" of cities, said Olivier Gergele of the global consulting firm.
  • China's cities saw the biggest change in this year's index.
London remains 'solid' as a global city despite Brexit: AT Kearney

The longer-term outlook for London remains positive despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, according to global consulting firm A.T. Kearney's 2018 Global Cities Report.

London is "still very solid" in terms of business activity, cultural experience and its ability to attract top talent, said Olivier Gergele, consumer industries and retail practice partner at the firm.

Speaking with CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday, Gergele acknowledged that Brexit could have an impact to a "certain extent" but said a city such as London has "very strong foundations" for the longer term.

As a result, he said, there is "no reason" that London is not going to continue having a high ranking in the future and there is a need to differentiate between "short-term market volatility to the long-term basis, the long-term fundamentals" of cities.

Positioning for the future

On the topic of how cities can better position themselves for the future, Gergele said metropolitan areas will need to focus on attracting business, top talent and investment.

"Ultimately, you need those three elements to really ensure that ... you're leading the rank(s)," he added.

Acknowledging that "there is no perfect city in the world," Gergele said it was likely for cities such as Singapore and Hong Kong in Asia to remain among the leaders.

This year's report also saw an increase in the number of Chinese cities included in the index, with six cities appearing in the rankings for the first time, and Beijing and Shanghai appearing in the top 20.

Gergele said China was a country that A.T. Kearney is "looking at very carefully" because "they are doing lots of things right." Some of the efforts cited in A.T. Kearney's report include the "increasing ability" of China's mega-cities to attract multinational companies and the development of a tech industry with "a home court advantage" due to internet regulations.

According to the report, the "evolution" seen in China's cities are a reflection of "intentional efforts by national, regional, and local entities to improve the country's competitiveness."