City strengthens financial ties with Commonwealth

The City of London Corporation has today (25 February) announced that it will become a founding strategic partner of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC).

Established in July 2014, the CWEIC aims to boost trade and investment opportunities and facilitate discussion between governments and the private sector throughout the Commonwealth. The organisation also has a particular focus on supporting SMEs trade overseas and securing investment for major infrastructure projects.

The Lord Mayor of London, Alan Yarrow, and Policy Chairman, Mark Boleat, today met the Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, to confirm the strategic partnership. Malta is set to host the next Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) in November 2015. This meeting will also include a major business event, the Commonwealth Business Forum, which is organised by the Malta government and the CWEIC.

Lord Mayor, Alderman Alan Yarrow, said:

"The Commonwealth remains an incredibly important trading bloc for the world. We in the City of London and UK are committed to furthering commercial and cultural ties with our Commonwealth partners, and regular Mayoral visits to Commonwealth Nations over the past few years - including mine this year - demonstrate the great importance that the City attaches to bilateral trade links with Commonwealth countries. We cherish our shared heritage and pursuit of shared values of good business - underpinned by the Rule of Law. This will serve to strengthen our economic ties, boost sustainable growth, and build strong, stable global communities."

Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee at the City of London Corporation, Mark Boleat, said:

“As a founding partner of the CWEIC, the City of London has shown how we are throwing our full backing behind the organisation. We want our economic links to the 53 Commonwealth nations to be strengthened even further. With ready-made established relationships with emerging market economies such as India, South Africa, Nigeria and Malaysia, the CWEIC presents an ideal opportunity for UK plc to reach out to new markets and expand our business.”

Lord Marland, Chairman of CWEIC, said:

“We are delighted that the City of London Corporation has agreed to become a strategic partners of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC). London continues to be the world’s largest financial centre and the largest investor in the majority of Commonwealth countries. We look forward to working with the Corporation and partners to develop a strong programme to support the development of the financial services industry and sustainable economic development across the Commonwealth.”

Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, said:

“A strong and resilient financial sector has been a vital pillar on which we have built Malta’s thriving economy. I am pleased that this partnership with the City of London Corporation will help Malta and other Commonwealth countries continue to strengthen and deepen their financial services industries. It is an excellent example of how the Commonwealth can work together to add value. We are looking forward to welcoming the Lord Mayor and his delegation for the Commonwealth Business Forum in Malta in November.”

The City of London Corporation will look to hold a number of Commonwealth events in the future and expand the Mayoral visits programme to the Commonwealth nations. Recent City Corporation work in the Commonwealth includes Mayoral visits to India, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, and Cyprus.

Notes to editors

About the City of London Corporation 

The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. In addition, the City Corporation has three roles: (1) we support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills projects. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charity City Bridge Trust makes grants of more than £15 million annually to charitable projects across London and we also support education with three independent schools, three City Academies, a primary school and the world-renowned Guildhall School of Music and Drama. (2) We also help look after key London heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important ‘commons’ in south London. (3) And we also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events, research-driven policies all reflecting a long-term approach. See for more details.

About the Lord Mayor of the City of London

The Lord Mayor is head of the Square Mile’s City of London authority for one year and the position is unpaid and apolitical. It is an exceptionally demanding role. The Lord Mayor spends some 90 days abroad and addresses some 10,000 people face-to-face each month (making around 800 speeches a year). The Lord Mayor represents City businesses and helps the City Corporation advise the Government of the day on what is needed to help the financial services sector to function well. The Lord Mayor frequently travels to represent the City; and travels overseas with the status of a Cabinet Minister. On average, the Lord Mayor will meet one head of state a month and will meet a prime minister or finance minister each week to discuss financial services, often in conjunction with senior City business representatives. The Lord Mayor, who is unpaid, lives in the Mansion House for the Mayoral year.