Charles Bowman, lord mayor of the City of London, will visit Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing from March 19 to 28 to promote trade and investment, and London's role as the natural Western hub for the Belt and Road initiative.
Bowman, as an ambassador for the UK's financial and professional services, will lead a high profile delegation of 20 senior City figures from sectors such as banking, insurance and accountancy.
Bowman told the Global Times that London is a city with a lot of creative energy. "I am going to further demonstrate what that creative energy can bring to the ties that we already have, around innovation, fintech, fashion, and culture," he said, adding that London is truly open for business.
In China's tech hub Shenzhen, Bowman will be highlighting the potential for further collaboration in the area of fintech. He will also promote London as a platform for Chinese companies to reach global markets and realize their international ambitions.
In Hong Kong, Bowman will be speaking at the GREAT Festival of Innovation. He will also promote the importance of creating a digital "silk road," where the City of London's expertise in fintech and technologies such as blockchain can play a strong role.
Moving to Shanghai, the lord mayor will meet Ying Yong, the city's mayor, for a ceremony to ink a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the City of London and the local government of Shanghai.
In Beijing, the lord mayor's final stop in China, he will speak at a forum focused on the Xiong'An New Area, a new economic zone being constructed 20 minutes' drive south of Beijing, which the Chinese government aims to develop as a world-class digital financial centre.