A study by researchers at Jones Lang LaSalle has ranked Manchester among the top 50 cities for property investment in the world.
Manchester came out 46th and was the only UK city alongside London to come within the top 50 global destinations.
JLL's research was part of its ongoing 'World Winning Cities' project launched in 2002. The research project tracks the performance of competing global cities by examining the trends which affect the business and economic landscape in 300 different destinations. All measurements are based on direct real estate investment in US dollars between 2008 and the third quarter of 2012.
Relative to the size of its economy in gross domestic product the assessment placed Manchester 15th globally, above Paris, Beijing and Milan.
Jones Lang LaSalle presented its findings to an audience of regional business leaders at an event in Chetham's School of Music.
Rosemary Feenan, director of Jones Lang LaSalle's global research team which led the study, told guests that the findings showed that Manchester should start to look beyond the debate over its status as the UK's second city.
She said: "Manchester's future will be dictated more by what it does to compete with other international cities such as Lyon, Boston or Vancouver, rather than other UK cities.
"An interesting real-life lesson can be seen in Latin America where Santiago's so-called Chilecon Valley is trying to exploit the US' tough immigration rules with streamlined visa applications and grant funding to establish a rival destination for tech-entrepreneurs to California's Silicon Valley."
Feenan highlighted the importance of building Manchester's trade links to helping strengthen its position among competing global cities.
"While not a world city in the same class as London – which tops our global rankings by both volume and relative to its GDP – Manchester must foster global visibility in order to continue its ascent.
"Trade alliances and the opportunities for its businesses in both emerging economies and established global economic superpowers like China will be vital to attracting future investment."
David Lathwood, director and head of Jones Lang LaSalle in the North West, said that Manchester must focus on developing its infrastructure and enhancing its quality of life offering if it is to continue growing and maintain its position as top international destination for investment. He said: "This research carries some important messages for Manchester and its timing couldn't be more critical.
"With prolonged economic stagnation in the eurozone and the continual shift of the global economic axis towards the emerging BRIC economies and Far East, Manchester has to focus on developing its offering now to remain competitive.
"Continual investment in the airport, High Speed 2 and the on-going growth of the city's universities are absolutely critical to attracting new investment, while key development sites need to be brought forward quickly and regeneration projects accelerated.
"During these past few years of economic downturn Manchester has demonstrated significant resilience. Now it's time for the city to build on its robust performance so that it can truly capitalise on its potential as the economy begins to move towards growth."