By O’Brien Kimani
Nairobi has been ranked the third most attractive market by the 500 biggest companies in the world.
It is ranked behind Johannesburg and Casablanca, the capital cities of South Africa and Morocco respectively.
A report by Global research firm Infomineo says Nairobi has seen a 12 percent rise in interest among the 500 big companies.
Dubai is the leading destination for large companies in the Middle East and Africa.
The report, which focuses on multinationals looking to enter in the Middle East and Africa region says there was a 17 percent increase in the number of companies planning to set up base in Middle East and Africa in 2016 compared to 2015.
This is driven majorly by the rising middle class in these regions and improving purchasing power parity.
The report covered 127 companies out of the 500 top rated companies in the world.
According to the Infomineo report, Nairobi has become increasingly important for the majority of global Fortune 500 countries with a 12 percent rise in companies willing to expand to Africa.
Germany and France are leading countries with high number of the top 500 companies in the world.
Nairobi has become a magnet for global conglomerates seeking to expand to Africa, already hosting the regional headquarters for search engine firm Google, tech giant Microsoft as well as aircraft manufacturer Boeing as the latest entry.
The report says Nairobi City is the leading destination for the fast moving consumer goods companies and tends to be the top choice for organizations looking to service Eastern Africa.
Dubai and Johannesburg are the most popular hubs overall, but both Casablanca and Nairobi are rapidly gaining traction and international awareness.
Casablanca has the highest growth rate overall, while Dubai has the highest count.
The report further says Nairobi needs to deal with endemic traffic jam and improve services like water supply and solid waste disposal to remain attractive.