Think London executives were due to travel to New York in the last week of March, accompanied by James Sassoon, the chancellor’s representative for promotion of the city, for a series of meetings with business leaders there. The visit reflects the continuing importance of the US to London, where it is the principal foreign investor. Since 2000 the number of US companies investing in London has risen by 300%. There are now 6700 in London, adding £17bn annually to the capital’s GDP (equivalent to 10% of the total).
“US businesses see London as their natural strategic partner for building global business, and the logical launch point for European operations,” said Think London chief Michael Charlton. “New York and London represent the world’s only truly global financial centres. With the emergence of new investment markets round the world and intense competition for foreign investment, London is increasing its efforts to strengthen the strategic connection with the US, and particularly with New York, our partner in driving the global economy. Our message is: ‘If you’re in New York, you must be in London’.”
The announcement coincides with a major push by the UK government to promote London as an international financial centre and maintain its competitiveness. A recent Think London report, produced in collaboration with Michael Dickmann of the Cranfield School of Management, revealed that nine out of 10 foreign-born executives believe that working in London has benefited their career.