No question location is the key to any business. It could be a main street, or outskirt of a town or a confluence of roads, rivers or for that matter a port. It can also of course evolve with time.When I was a kid growing up, it was Taloja biryani on the way to Poona (sorry Pune). The NH4 highway put an end to it and just as the expressway has done to many other businesses along the NH4 highway.
Likewise Hong Kong was for for business to China before the mainland Chinese became more enterprising and the country itself opened up.
But there are some locations that at first glance look certainly more permanent. At the confluence of East and West, stands Turkey straddling both Asia and Europe with access to markets in North Africa, CIS and Middle East. Maybe its infatuation with Europe and accession to EU has not allowed it to develop its location more strategically. But its loss has perhaps been the gain of Dubai at least until its own infatuation with real estate and building castles in the sand.
But to its credit, its Freezones do attract businesses from Asia and Europe making it a major transit port. And of course its own airline became its crowing glory connecting countries even in the Far East to the Americas and taking a large chunk of traffic from the domestic airlines of various countries.
Of course location is fluid. It will be interesting what the future beholds. Who would have thought of the steel industry shifting to the East. Or the rise of the BRIC nations. Or that what happens in Beijing and New Delhi will soon perhaps be more important than in Washington and London.