City of London eager to be involved in Belt and Road: lord mayor

Updated 2018-01-19 10:21:03 Xinhua

The City of London is the natural Western end to the Belt and Road Initiative, and London can contribute greatly to this initiative, Lord Mayor of the City of London Charles Bowman said Thursday.

Addressing a China-UK Economic and Trade Forum held by the China Chamber of Commerce in the UK, Bowman said he would be heading to China in March, taking with a senior business delegation to Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing.

"We will be discussing London's role in the exciting Belt and Road Initiative, building on the involvement of the City of London Corporation in the Belt and Road Summit in Beijing last May," he said.

He said: "Britain's commitment to the success of the Belt and Road Initiative was reaffirmed just a few weeks ago at the 9th UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue."

Bowman said on Brexit, the City of London has asked the government for a deal that focuses on three Ts: transition, trade, and talent.

"We want a deal that is good for the UK and Europe and elsewhere. Whatever the deal looks like, let me assure you that London will retain its strengths as the international centre for finance. It will remain the gateway for Chinese companies to expand into global markets," he noted. "We are living in the golden era of China-UK relations."

He believed Chinese businesses in Britain are the "stabilizers" and "boosters" of the great bilateral relationship.

"Last spring, we helped the Shanghai Clearing House to open its London office. Last autumn, we welcomed the launch of Bank of China's private banking service in London. And we will soon celebrate the branch opening of Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and the Agricultural Bank of China," Bowman added.

He emphasized that London is the largest renminbi payments centre outside of China, and the largest renminbi foreign exchange centre worldwide.

Bowman mentioned the City could offer to Chinese businesses advice on risk management, legal services and green finance.

The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain. The lord mayor of the City of London is a principal ambassador and key spokesperson for the British financial and professional services sector.

The City of London is a historic, financial district -- an enclave surrounded by Greater London -- with a mayor distinct from that of the rest of London.

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