Lord Mayor visits Mozambican capital to build trade ties
The UK’s most senior ambassador for the financial and professional services sector will be visiting Maputo this week to strengthen business ties between Mozambique and the UK. The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley, will meet senior representatives from the Mozambican government as well as leading financial and professional services firms based in the region from 11 – 13 September.
London is the world’s leading financial and professional services centre, while Mozambique is developing its position as a finance hub in Africa. Both have benefitted from strong relationships with one another, which have deepened in recent years. The latest data shows that exports from the UK to Mozambique totalled £130 million in 2015 – increasing by more than 70% in just 8 years.
A key point to be discussed in many of the meetings taking place in Maputo will be how FinTech can help those who don’t have access to traditional banking facilities. It’s estimated that 80% of Mozambicans do not have a bank account, and the City of London hosts many leading FinTech firms that have developed innovative solutions to make mobile banking an option for people across the developing world.
Speaking on his visit to Maputo, the Lord Mayor Dr Andrew Parmley said:
“As part of my trip to Maputo, I am looking forward to attending a number of meetings with key figures in the financial and professional services sector to discuss opportunities and the concerns of firms based in Mozambique.
“Firms in the UK are committed to investing in dynamic growth markets across the world and I am committed to seeing our shared interests grow. The UK is ranked ninth in the world in terms of banking inclusion, so this is something I’m particularly interesting in discussing with business and government leaders to emphasize how British firms can help people across Mozambique access banking and the world’s markets.
“Following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, we have had time to reflect on relationships with our existing international partners – particularly across Africa. I look forward to developing an even stronger partnership with Mozambique post-Brexit, and I hope my visit is a strong first step in achieving that goal.”
Speaking ahead of the Lord Mayor’s visit, the British High Commissioner to Mozambique, Joanna Kuenssberg said:
“This is the second time in two years that a Lord Mayor of the City of London visits Mozambique. This shows how important Mozambique - UK links are. The Lord Mayor is one of the most senior figures in British business and represents the world’s biggest financial centre. As Mozambique makes incredible steps towards a vibrant financial sector, I think our countries have a unique opportunity to work together to diversify financial services offering and increase bilateral and also regional trade.
“British businesses operating in Mozambique are already part of the potential and growth of the economy here and this will help strengthen bilateral trade links. The Lord Mayor’s agenda of engagements with UK companies, the government, and private sector will show our focus is on building mutual growth, and strengthening links at various levels.”
The Lord Mayor’s visit marks the start of a new collaborative campaign by the UK’s financial and professional services sector to build relations with international partners as part of a Commonwealth expansion programme.
Mozambique is making great strides in developing infrastructure projects to utilise its natural resources. As the gateway to Europe and significant pools of capital, London is well-placed to help fund these projects that promise to help growth the Mozambican economy in the coming years.
The Lord Mayor will attend high level meetings to discuss how the two countries can continue to work together, especially after the UK leaves the European Union. Discussions will also centre on strengthening existing trade links, helping bank the unbanked, exploring new FinTech, opportunities, and to understand how policy and regulation can work more effectively to bolster innovation.
Notes to editors
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.
- FinTech – literally broken down from ‘financial technology’- is the technological innovation in the financial sector, including innovations in financial literacy and education, retail banking, investment and even crypto-currencies like bitcoin.
More information on the Lord Mayor can be found here.
Millie Allen, Financial Services Media Officer, City of London Corporation
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