International Programs

International Business in NYC

New York City's exceptional array of industries, along with its talent pool and access to capital, make it an excellent location choice for companies that seek to establish or expand their presence in the United States.

Recognition and Awards

In October 2009, New York was ranked the most attractive city for business and innovation, ahead of London, Paris, and Tokyo, according to Japan’s Mori Memorial Foundation’s second Global Power City Index. The survey covered 35 of the world’s major cities, ranking them in the categories of economy, research and development, cultural interaction, livability, ecology and natural environment, and accessibility. The index also measured the attractiveness of a city from the viewpoint of what it called global and local actors: managers, researchers, artists, visitors, and residents.

Mori Memorial Foundation's 2009 Global Power City Index

According to the Bloomberg Global Poll of investors and analysts in six continents conducted from October 23-27, 2009, New York remains the leading global financial center, followed by Singapore and London. In addition, fDi Magazine, a publication of the Financial Times, named New York City the top 2009/2010 North American City of the Future. The judging panel cited the large number of foreign direct investment projects flowing into and out of the City, as well as the very high number of post-secondary students living in the City, as key factors that drove their decision.

Economic Strength and Diversity

New York City’s economy is unparalleled, rivaling most of the world’s nations with its sheer size and diversity. The New York metropolitan area’s gross metropolitan product was almost $1.3 trillion in 2008, exceeding the GDP of many nations.

NY REgion Gross Metropolitan Product Vs Other National GDPs

New York City has one of the world's largest international business communities:

  • 168 banks from 50 countries have offices here
  • 50% of New York’s labor force is foreign-born
  • 18 of the top 20 foreign branches of international banks have their U.S. headquarters here

While the financial services make up a significant portion of the City’s total wages and tax revenue, nearly one-fifth of the City’s workers are employed in professional and business services and another fifth works in health services.

New York City, the global capital of fashion, has more headquarters of fashion designers and retailers than any other city. New York’s fashion weeks and trade shows attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to the City, with international visits accounting for almost one-fifth.

Two of the largest global marketing agencies, Omnicom Group and Interpublic Group, are headquartered in the City, in addition to global media giants including Viacom, Time Warner, and News Corporation.

Not only is New York City a business capital, it is also home to some of the finest hospitals and scientific research centers in the world. Research centers and hospitals in New York receive a total of $1.3 billion in National Institutes of Health funding each year, second only to Boston-Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Finally, New York was among the top 3 venture capital states with $285 million in new venture capital investments spread across 41 deals, according to the quarterly venture capital activity report issued by ChubbyBrain Information Services for the fourth quarter of 2009. New York edged out Massachusetts in internet investments, with 48% of its new investments being made in the internet sector.


New York City is a diverse hub for well-educated, ambitious individuals, with a student population of 623,000 and 164 academic institutions. Since 2002, when the Mayor took control of the City’s public school system, high school graduation rates have increased by 22 percent.

New York City is an attractive destination for international students. In 2009, New York University and Columbia University had the second and third largest international student populations in the country, totaling more than 13,000 students.

Over 260,000 people in the New York area have tech-related jobs, placing it 5th out of all metropolitan areas in the U.S. These jobs span several sectors, including financial services, media, biotechnology, and manufacturing.

The result is an intelligent, diverse, and innovative workforce with a mind toward the future of the business world:

  • New York City universities have produced 38 Nobel Laureates.
  • One third of New York City residents have a bachelor’s degree, and 3 in 5 Manhattan residents have a bachelor’s degree.
  • 1 in 4 Manhattan residents have an advanced degree. Citywide, 13 percent hold an advanced degree.

Robust Real Estate

With more than 600 million square feet of commercial office space within its five boroughs, New York City makes up the largest real estate market in the United States. Despite the difficult economic conditions of the past year, vacancy rates in New York’s Central Business Districts remain lower than in the other major business districts in the country. New York real estate is also a growing market with tremendous potential. One-fifth of the City has been rezoned to create more opportunities for business, with projects like the Hudson Yards expansion slated to provide 24 million square feet of new office space and the World Trade Center with an additional 2.6 million square feet of office space.

Low Cost of Living

New York City has a comparable cost of living to other large cities and ranks well against international competitors. Average rent in both Midtown and Lower Manhattan is one of the most affordable when compared to other world-class cities.

Large Global Cities Ranked by Cost (1 = Most Expensive)

5Hong KongHong Kong
8New YorkUnited States


In 2008, 4.3 million foreign travelers entered the United States through New York City, making the City the primary port of entry for foreign passengers and the world’s North American travel hub.

More residents use mass transit in New York City than in any other American city. This is a testament to the transit system’s sophisticated, efficient network of buses, subways, and trains that reach virtually every corner of the New York metropolitan region.

The City is home to one of the largest subway systems in the world, with 660 miles of passenger service track, 26 subway lines, 468 subway stations, and an average of 5.2 million weekday riders in 2008. The City also has nearly 4,600 buses serving 208 local and 36 express routes.

Safest Big City

The Bloomberg Administration firmly believes that a city has to be safe before economic development and businesses can flourish. This administration has doubled down on its effort to make sure that happens: New York’s crime rate has decreased by 79% over the past 20 years, far outpacing the national average, making New York the safest big city in the United States.

Prepared for Future Growth

With an expected 2030 population of 9.1 million, annual tourist visitors expected to reach 65 million, and mass transit ridership currently at a 50-year high, New York City faces serious sustainability challenges. In response to these current and anticipated challenges, Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched PlaNYC, a 127-initiative blueprint to help the City achieve sustainable growth over the next 25 years and to meet the vast energy, water, transport, housing, and sustainable environmental needs that will allow the City to flourish.

New York City is investing in its future on several fronts, from economic diversity to safety, public schools to infrastructure, making it an intelligent destination for businesses operating in virtually any industry in the world to invest in their own futures.

Additional Resources

There are also a number of resources designed to guide you through the process of establishing a business in the City.

New York State Employer’s Guide
Employer's Guide to Unemployment Insurance, Wage Reporting, and Withholding Tax. Links to other resources pertaining to Visas and employee-related matters.

Citizen and Immigration Resources
US Citizen and Immigration Services website.

Contact Information

We encourage you to learn more about the benefits New York City offers and how NYCEDC can provide you with assistance and many useful tools that will allow you to make an intelligent, informed location decision for your company. For more information, please contact us at

NYCEDC's international team will help you navigate all aspects of New York City business. For more information, please contact:

News & Updates


    LatAm to NYC

     |  NYCEDC
    Starting August 6th, we're welcoming Latin American tech entrepreneurs to NYC for the very first Latin American-focused World to NYC.


Searching for a rewarding career in NYC? There could be a position waiting for you at NYCEDC.


Stay up to date with NYCEDC

Contact Us

Do you have a question, comment or suggestion for us? We would like to hear from you.

Follow Us

Social Media Customer User Policy