Lord Mayor travels to China to boost economic cooperation and trade

Lord Mayor of the City of London, Charles Bowman, is visiting China from 19 to 28 March 2018 to promote trade and investment, and London’s role in the Belt and Road initiative.

The Lord Mayor, in his role as an ambassador for the UK’s financial and professional services and head of the City of London Corporation, will meet senior members of the Chinese government and business leaders during his visit. The nine day visit, accompanied by senior City figures from sectors such as banking, insurance, accountancy and legal, will include Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing.

In China’s leading tech hub Shenzhen the Lord Mayor will be highlighting the potential for further collaboration in the area of fintech. He will also promote London as a platform for Chinese companies to reach global markets and realise their international ambitions.

In addition, he will showcase London’s role in the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, a region larger than Wales with a GDP of $1.36 trillion (£981 billion) in 2016 and an estimated population of 66.71 million.

In Hong Kong the Lord Mayor will be speaking at the GREAT Festival of Innovation, talking about the importance of collaboration between international financial centres, particularly in the Belt and Road initiative. He will also promote the importance of creating a digital silk road, where the City of London’s expertise in fintech and technologies such as blockchain can play a strong role.

Moving to Shanghai the Lord Mayor will meet the City’s Mayor Ying Yong for a ceremony to re-sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the City of London and Shanghai government. The commitment marks the latest chapter in collaboration between the two cities since the first agreement was signed in 1996. In addition, the Lord Mayor will lead celebrations at a special event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the City Corporation’s Shanghai Representative Office.

In Beijing, the Lord Mayor’s final stop in China, he will speak at a forum focussed on the Xiong’An New Area- a new economic zone being constructed on the outskirts of Beijing which the Chinese government aims to develop as a world-class digital financial centre. He will also meet with government and business leaders to highlight what London can offer the Belt and Road initiative, and the City’s role as a leading hub for infrastructure solutions.

Speaking ahead of his trip, Lord Mayor Charles Bowman, said:

“The City of London has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with China. I hope my visit will lead to even closer cooperation in this Golden Era of relations between our two great countries.

“Following Prime Minister Theresa May’s successful trip earlier this year, a key part of my visit will be promoting London’s role as the natural Western hub of the Belt and Road Initiative, for which firms in the City have much to offer.

“I will also be delivering the message that London is truly open for business, and that the City’s position as an international financial centre will very much continue after the UK leaves the European Union. We will remain a hub of creative energy and financial excellence, helping Chinese firms realise their international ambitions and build the relationships and support they need to retain and expand their UK operations.”

International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox said:

“The Great Festival of Innovation is underpinned by a shared desire to build on the success of longstanding trading relationships between Asia and the UK and to stimulate further growth, with the City of London vital for developing the Golden Era of relations between our two countries.

“As an international economic department, DIT is ensuring British businesses make the most of growing markets like Hong Kong and exporting their goods around the world. The festival will be a major showcase for the UK in Asia, and a shop window for the best of our creativity and innovation.”

Sir Tom Troubridge, Chairman of the PwC China Business Group said:

“We have assembled a very senior delegation representing the UK's key strengths in Assurance, Insurance and Financing.

“These are all the skills the Chinese Government tell us are critical to the success of the Belt and Road Initiative where infrastructure projects alone have been estimated at $25 trillion over the next three decades.

“We will be meeting Chinese banks and construction companies during our visit to discuss how best the UK can work with China in this historic endeavour.”

Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.

For further details please contact: