The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today begins a five-day trip to Montreal, Chicago and New York, to demonstrate that London remains open for business and a key destination for investment, business and tourism following the EU referendum.
Sadiq will aim to strengthen ties with the three cities and will say that his election in London shows the power of hope over fear, and unity over division.
In meetings with senior politicians and city leaders discussions will cover key issues shared with London, including the need for greater social integration, regeneration and new housing.
Sadiq will also take a message directly to business leaders in all three cities that London is open for business and should remain a key destination for North American investment.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “In the wake of Brexit it is hugely important that we strengthen London’s ties with other major cities. The key theme I will take into every meeting on this visit is that London is and always will remain open for business.”
While in Montreal Sadiq will meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and they will both address a global progress summit. The Mayor will also meet with his Montreal counterpart, Denis Coderre, and senior representatives of Bombardier Business Aircraft.
The company is investing in the creation of a new Service Centre at Biggin Hill Airport, which is expected to open later this year and will create highly skilled, well paid new jobs and opportunities for local people. The investment was a significant coup for London, not only creating jobs but cementing the city’s reputation as a leading destination for investment from across the world.
In Chicago the Mayor will begin his visit by giving a keynote speech at the Chicago Council for Global Affairs, which will focus on social integration, and the importance ‘of building bridges rather than walls’. He will also visit a major regeneration project on the Chicago Riverwalk, accompanied by the city’s Mayor and the former Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel.
While in the United States the Mayor will be joined by 30 of London’s fastest growing technology start-up businesses. His Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, is leading the companies on a trade mission to help them secure new investment and explore opportunities for exporting to American markets. In Chicago Sadiq will join them on a visit to 1871, a large and successful tech hub in the centre of the city, where they will be looking to build links with local entrepreneurs.
Leading high-growth businesses accompanying the Mayor include clean technology company Pavegen, digital media provider for taxis, Eyetease and cybersecurity solutions company, Trading Hub.
As part of a packed itinerary the Mayor is also due to meet with young multi-faith leaders and attend a British-American business event. The Mayor’s programme in the city also sees him visit an innovative digital manufacturing business and meet with Shahid Khan, the owner of Fulham Football Club and the Jacksonville Jaguars, for discussions regarding investment in London.
When he reaches New York the Mayor will meet the commissioner for Major League Baseball, Rob Manfred, to discuss plans to bring games to London. Sadiq will literally pitch for London as he has been invited to pitch the first ball when the New York Mets take on the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field.
The Mayor then visits a housing project in Harlem that has been designed by a British architect, and he will join the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, to address a Muslim American community meeting.
A highlight of the visit to New York is expected to be when the Mayor attends the Clinton Global Intiative, attended by more than 1,000 world leaders, and where he will be joined on stage by Chelsea Clinton.
Sadiq will also meet up with his group of tech start-ups again at an event organised by London & Partners and attended by 300 US companies looking to set up in London.
The Mayor is also heading to the Barrow Street Theatre, located in the historic Greenwich House in New York’s West Village, where he will mark the transfer of Tooting Arts Club’s production of Sweeney Todd to the other side of the Atlantic. Before he returns to London Sadiq will hold a meeting with Bill de Blasio and visit the New York Stock Exchange, where he will join businesswomen from his International Business Programme to ring the closing bell.
The US is Britain’s most valuable trading partner, accounting for £4.4 billion of the total value of all exports in April 2016, according to the latest data released by HM Revenue & Customs. The UK also remains the largest single investor in the US. Having invested more than $444 billion in the US in 2014, the UK’s share of foreign direct investment in America tops 15%.
According to recent research from London & Partners, venture capital investment into London and UK technology companies also remains strong with UK tech companies attracting $1.3 billion in the first six months of 2016, matching the amount raised in the same period in 2015. Despite the Brexit vote, London based technology companies have continued to attract funding, raising over $500m since the decision to leave the European Union.