The eyes of the world were on London earlier this month, as the city’s most iconic buildings were lit up in an array of colour as part of the world-class light festival, Lumiere London.
More than 50 works of art were created by artists across the world, showcasing the strength of international collaboration.
This doesn’t stop with art and culture. Sectors covering food and drink, finance, and education all benefit from growing relationships with countries across the world – and none more so than technology, which has broken down traditional cross-border barriers, as we become increasingly interconnected.
As the home to 58,000 technology firms, the UK has a huge amount to gain from this trend.
In London, “Silicon Roundabout” and the surrounding tech cluster have helped drive more venture capital investment than in Germany, France, Spain and Ireland combined.
London also attracts the largest share of foreign direct investment in technology – three times more than Paris and almost four times more than Berlin.
The next few years will offer a golden opportunity for London and the UK to build on this success and work with our partners across world to drive innovation and shape the future of global trade.
The IMF predicts that, in the next two decades, 90 per cent of global growth will be generated beyond the borders of Europe.
Much of this will come from Asian economies, where new markets are growing to meet their own innovation revolution.
We are putting the UK in a position to benefit. That is why, in March this year, hundreds of UK businesses led by the Department for International Trade will attend the GREAT Festival of Innovation in Hong Kong.
Entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes will come together for what will be a major showcase for the UK in Asia, and a shop window for the best of British creativity and innovation.
The festival will bring together distinguished commercial minds, including Lastminute.com founder rent Hoberman, chief commercial officer of UnrulyMedia Phil Townend, and former GCHQ director Robert Hannigan – alongside Asian entrepreneurs – to forge new trade links and strengthen existing relationships.
The UK is one of the most open, dynamic and innovative economies in the world, where a new tech business is founded every hour, and where our 2.7 per cent share of global Research and Development funding translates into 15 per cent of the most highly cited papers in the world.
This record will continue as we encourage workplace evolution to reflect the changing global market conditions – including through our £45m investment in supporting studies in artificial intelligence, as part of our ambitious industrial strategy.
The GREAT festival is a chance to amplify London’s strengths on the world stage with some of the most innovative businesses and influential tech investors.
Since the EU referendum, Google has confirmed that its new £1bn London office will open in 2018, Apple announced a UK headquarters in Battersea Power Station, and cloud content management Box said last month that it would open its new European headquarters in London’s Tech City.
Global investors are voting with their wallets and choosing London.
The new relationships we forge at the GREAT festival will maintain this momentum, so we can deliver a brighter, more prosperous future for London, the UK, and the world.