Large swathes of Essex which are closest to London are part of the Metropolitan Green Belt, prohibiting urban development in its green spaces. It is the location of the regionally significant Lakeside Shopping Centre and London Stansted Airport, which provides those with serviced offices in Essex access to national and international travel.
Harlow is a centre for electronics, science and pharmaceutical companies and Chelmsford has been an important location for electronics companies since the industry was born. Chelmsford is also home to a number of insurance and financial services organisations, and the soft drinks producer Britvic. New Holland Agriculture's European headquarters is based in Basildon and Brentwood is home to the Ford Motor Company's British HQ.
Other businesses in the county are dominated by mechanical engineering with metalworking, glassmaking and plastics and also the service sector. Basildon is the base of State Street Corporation's UK HQ International Financial Data Services. Southend-on-Sea is a seaside town and benefits from direct, modern rail links from Fenchurch Street railway station and Liverpool Street station, ensuring it maintains the town's economy.