City of London Corporation Policy Chairman Catherine McGuinness's speech at Asia Next Decade campaign launch

Good evening and thank you all for joining us.

It is particularly encouraging to see so many ambassadors and high commissioners here – thank you for your support.

And thank you in particular to Mark Field and to Xinhan Xia for your words this evening, and for all your support in recent years.

Achievements of the last decade

This evening we are celebrating the City of London Corporation’s ten years of having a direct presence in Asia – with our offices in Beijing, Mumbai and Shanghai.

And more importantly we are looking forward to the next decade of growth and our ambitions for an even greater partnership between the City of London and our counterparts in Asia.

Of course, in all of this, we work alongside partners such as the China Britain Business Council and TheCityUK - and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for all they do.

London and Asia have seen some great achievements over the past ten years.

The Asian region has emerged as a global powerhouse, home to some of the fastest growing economies in the world.

London has built links to major Asian economies, especially in terms of foreign exchange, establishing itself as the largest offshore hub for renminbi outside of Asia, the home of the largest rupee denominated Masala bond market in the world, and very recently, the world’s first listing of an Indonesian Rupiah denominated Komodo bond.

We ourselves recently became a member of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s Infrastructure Financing Facilitation Office, a body run by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) which facilitates infrastructure investment and financing.

As the UK finds its new role in the world it can capitalise on these global connections to build even stronger links with Asia, continuing to act as a gateway for Asian businesses to access international markets.

The City of London Corporation, working with our partners across the sector, want to support that. This is the aim of our Asia: Next Decade campaign.

Plans for the next decade

We are spending this year in consultation with industry and governments – both here in the UK and across Asia –to inform our plans for stepping up our engagement and setting goals for the next decade.

We have worked with Asia House to identify key trends that will influence the financial services sector over the next decade. Please pick up a copy of the report this evening.

The UK’s financial services sector has strengths which can meet the opportunities that will emerge from Asia in infrastructure financing, digital economy, sustainable finance, and countless other innovations. We want to help that come about.

Throughout the year we will be profiling businesses with connections to Asia who are thriving in London– and tonight I am delighted to be launching our first case study of Huawei Global Finance, whose operations have grown significantly here since they set up in 2013.

We will be holding celebratory tenth anniversary events in Beijing, Mumbai and Shanghai, and inviting industry to share their priorities and views on the next decade of activity at roundtables around the globe.

And as well as India and China, we are planning to step up our engagement with ASEAN generally, particularly in the year of Singapore’s ASEAN presidency.

After all, ASEAN is set to become the world’s fourth largest economy by 2030.

And an increasingly important part of our engagement will be to encourage more direct city-to-city links.

We already have memorandums of understanding with the Shanghai Municipal Government and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. We would like to see more, using innovative industries such as fintech and cyber security.

As the world’s leading financial centre, London will be a powerful partner for the next decade of growth in Asia and the UK.

Tonight I invite you to work with the City of London Corporation this year to let us know how we can best support the Asia-UK relationship, so we can look forward to another decade of growth through partnership.

I am very pleased to launch the Asia Next Decade Campaign with you here tonight – thank you all for your support.