Lord Mayor: working together for whole of UK
Lord Mayor Peter Estlin FCA sets out why it is important that London and other financial centres around the UK must build closer economic ties.
In recent months, all eyes have been on our relationship with the EU. While we ponder Britain’s path to a strong global future, we should also take a moment to remember that closer to home, there is much to celebrate.
One of the primary objectives that I set when I took up the post of Lord Mayor was to unlock the potential of the UK regional economy. A healthy, collaborative domestic economy is essential for us to further cement the UK as the leading financial and professional services centre in the world and strengthen our competitiveness on the global stage.
Now, well into the 21st century, we need to make sure that financial and professional services continue to thrive and create the jobs this country needs to prosper economically. To do so, we must ensure the relationship between London and the rest of the UK remains a symbiotic one, which benefits the UK as a whole. Currently, over 2.2m people work within the financial and professional services sector across the country, of which two-thirds are based outside of London.
That’s why, throughout my tenure as Lord Mayor, I am visiting a number of our partner financial and professional services centres across the UK. From Scotland to Wales – with trips to Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield, as well as Northern Ireland on the cards later in the year.
We want to retain and increase inward investment into these regions and the UK. All the while, we are building awareness of the opportunities and expertise that London provides to UK-based firms as a gateway to the world.
To do this, the City Corporation is leveraging its considerable influence and networks to open doors to new and exciting opportunities. I have been urging firms from across the UK to join me on my trade missions overseas.
And there have been numerous success stories of regional firms winning international business on the back of such visits. We know that whether home or away, there is real potential for innovative British businesses to grow.&
And we aren’t alone in saying this. Recently, business secretary Greg Clark addressed UK business leaders at the City Corporation’s annual Business and Industry Dinner. There was a real recognition across the room that economic collaboration is the cornerstone of a prosperous nation.
I am confident that, in the long run, we can maximise our burgeoning domestic potential, forging a path towards a bright future on the global stage.
Peter Estlin is 691st Lord Mayor of the City of London, an ICAEW Chartered Accountant and member of the London Society of Chartered Accountants.
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