London remains open for business

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan attends the launch of London’s Autumn Season of Culture at the Science Museum, London

By Gordon Innes/ London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s official promotional company

It’s staggering to think that it is just three months since the UK voted to leave the European Union. In the run up to the vote, and in the immediate aftermath of the result, soothsayers the world over lined up to warn of the dire consequences of Brexit for London’s status as a global business and financial powerhouse.

Thankfully, three months later, few, if any, of the predictions made have come to pass. Stock markets are up, the economy is not in recession and companies are not leaving in droves. True, sterling has fallen in value against the U.S. dollar and a basket of other currencies, but even that cloud has delivered an economic silver lining, at least in the short term, in the guise of rising tourist numbers and increasing export orders.

The British Government has made clear that it is determined to seize the referendum decision by making a success of our exit from the EU and forging a new role for the U.K. as a beacon of open trade. But in a post-referendum world, and in the immediate absence of new trade deals, we cannot be complacent.

We need to work hard to retain London’s economic crown jewels and make the case for increased cooperation and partnership between global cities. That is why this week, together with the Mayor of London and some of the capital’s fastest growing scale-up technology companies, I will be visiting Chicago and New York to cement the deep-seated bonds that exist between our leading cities and ensure the world knows that London remains open.

We will be joined on our visit by some of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs such as Sarah Wood from Unruly, Rich Riley from Shazam and Kathryn Parsons from Decoded. Together we will explore opportunities for greater collaboration between London, New York, Chicago and beyond, to reinforce our trading ties and the so-called “special relationship,” a term coined by Winston Churchill more than 70 years ago, but one which extends way beyond just politics.

The United States is, by some margin, Britain’s most important trading partner, and London is the No. 1 city in the world for US investment. In fact, London attracts three times as much investment from America as any other European city and as a result more than 8,500 US companies now call London home, including many of America’s largest businesses: financial giants such as JP Morgan and tech behemoths like Google and Bloomberg.

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