City of London urges corporates to ‘look East’

City of London urges corporates to ‘look East’


Luke Foddy, Communications Manager

The City of London Corporation has today announced a year-long initiative asking businesses in the UK and abroad to help shape its work across Asia over the next ten years.

The Asia Next Decade campaign sees the launch of a new website where industry partners can go to submit their views on Asia via an online survey. The campaign was launched with a research report produced in collaboration with Asia House.

The campaign signals a policy shift and a recognition within the Corporation of a need to increase engagement with Asian markets beyond the major economies.

Writing in The Telegraph, Catherine McGuinness, City of London Policy Chairman, said: “While the UK’s ties with China and India, the largest countries in Asia, are very healthy, and offer plenty of opportunities to expand trade as their economies further open up to international investment, we cannot be distracted by our own introspective work on Brexit.

“Going forward we need to look further afield and boost our trade with smaller Asian economies such as Malaysia and Indonesia, which will have a key role to play in the future, particularly in terms of Islamic finance. The 10 country bloc known as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is quickly establishing itself as a major market player globally.”

In a statement, the Corporation said: ‘Asia is a hugely important partner for the UK, both now and in the future, as shown by a report published today by the City Corporation. The research conducted by Asia House shows that the region is the fastest growing trade partner for the UK and is forecast to account for around half of world GDP by 2030.’

Writing in City AM this morning, Sherry Madera, the City of London Corporation’s special adviser for Asia, said: “London has never been a European financial centre; it has always been a global financial centre. Our Asia relationships play a critical part in the capital’s global ecosystem. Over 50 financial institutions from Asia already call London home, and many of London’s financial firms – large and small – have operations across Asia. But now is not the time to be complacent.”

Initial reaction to the campaign in Asia seems positive, with Xinhan Xia, Chief Executive of China International Capital Corporation (UK), commenting: “Relations between China and the UK have been going from strength to strength in this era of Golden Ties.

“The initiative launched today will help further strengthen Sino-UK cooperation in financial and professional services.”