UK business costs are the smallest in Europe

Despite claims that the UK has a ‘rip-off’ economy, it actually has the
lowest business costs in Europe and is well-placed worldwide, new research

The 2004 Competitive Alternatives study identified the UK as having the
lowest cost structure among seven major European nations and 11 other
industrialised countries.

The UK was also found to be the most competitive country in Europe and third
overall behind Canada and Australia, according to the study by consultants

Surprisingly, the UK outperformed the US, and was found to be competitive
across all industry sectors, including aerospace, telecommunications and

Ian Barlow, senior London partner at KPMG, said the UK and France had both
gained ground on other countries since the last survey in 2002.

"Being cost-competitive is one of the fundamentals in securing inward
investment. However, selecting the best site for a business operation requires
balanced consideration of factors including talent and skills, together with
academic support," he said.

While the survey found significant cost differences between countries for
establishing manufacturing and corporate service operations, the UK scored well
in both.

It was also found to have favourable research and effective income tax

By Ross Wigham

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