Monday 2 September 2019 4:01 am

As others look inward, the City is keeping its eye on the world

Domestic and international politics, as well as the latest developments in the Brexit saga, are set to dominate the headlines in the coming weeks and months.

While we cannot simply put the Brexit question to one side, we must remember that it is just one – admittedly important – part of a bigger picture: the UK’s future trading relationships around the globe.

Our financial sector continues to be a huge international success story, whether it be the depth of expertise we have in asset management and currency exchange, the sheer scale of innovation taking place, or our world-beating fintech and green finance capabilities. 

Given the current political uncertainty, we must continue to strive to put our financial and professional services at the heart of a more inclusive and sustainable global economy. Now is not the time to stop promoting the UK’s expertise in financial services around the world – quite the opposite. 

As summer starts to draw to a close, our activity is ramping up as we look to drive this important agenda forwards. 

Later today, for instance, more than 200 senior businesspeople from Britain and China will arrive at Guildhall to attend a UK-China Business Leaders Forum. 

The event will build on the rapidly growing trade relationship between our two countries, while looking ahead to the opportunities presented by further opening-up of the Chinese market. 

Meanwhile, later this week I will host business leaders from around the world for the International Trade Dinner at Guildhall. 

This will be the second time we have held this dinner, which has already become an important feature in the City’s calendar. The event provides a forum for robust discussion on the current global commerce environment and the importance of trade.

Soon after, I head to Australia and India for two weeks. On this visit, I will be accompanied by some of the UK’s best fintech startups, and we will explore the opportunities for growth in these two key markets. 

We start from a position of strength: our fintech industry attracts more venture capital investment than anywhere else in Europe, more than a tenth of the global fintech industry is based here, and the number of people employed in the sector is set to rise from 76,500 to 105,500 by 2030. 

As others look inwards, the City is keeping its eye on the multilateral trading framework that has brought prosperity to millions across the planet.

The challenges that we face together – such as climate change and cyber security – require collaborative solutions, not a retreat into protectionism. The launch of our Green Finance Institute, for example, is testimony to that collaborative and internationalist spirit.

Given the tasks and opportunities that present themselves, it does not seem entirely fitting to simply say that it is “business as usual” in the City. We are adapting to the fast-changing political situation.

But London’s fundamental strengths and its spirit of pragmatism, entrepreneurialism and innovation have allowed us to successfully navigate other major challenges in recent decades. 

Our future remains bright, and we are focused on where we can add the greatest value.

Main image credit: Getty

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.