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Business News 2009
Business News->Mayor offers overseas investors help to set up in the capital
Mayor offers overseas investors help to set up in the capital

(11 March 2009)

LondonThe Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, today (11th March) urged foreign businesses to relocate to London and outlined measures, such as free office space for 12 months and a dedicated advisor, to ensure the capital remains the top place to do business despite the current global downturn. As the latest cost of living survey revealed London is cheaper to live in than New York for the first time since 2002, the Mayor has unveiled Think London’s economic action plan to encourage more overseas companies to locate in the capital.

Building relations with overseas companies is a key part of ‘London Now’, with high-profile events planned throughout 2009. Next week, Think London will host a high profile delegation of around 40 business executives from China with an interest in locating in London. The Mayor will meet with the Chinese delegation during their trip. This follows on from the successful ‘Road to London’ road show in China last autumn. As a result, 95 companies have engaged with Think London to explore setting up an office in the capital within the next two years. Building on the success of Road to London, Think London in the coming months will be rolling out a road show in North America to reach out to potential investors and showcase the investment opportunities in London, including the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "My message to overseas businesses is loud and clear. You will not only receive the warmest of welcomes but we will do all we can to ensure you get off to a flying start in the capital and are successful. London offers magnificent opportunities for overseas business with unrivalled access to western markets, a skilled workforce and one of the most diverse social and leisure scenes in the world. We are investing heavily in our infrastructure to provide business opportunities, as well as in skills and training programmes to ensure there is a deep pool of talent to help your business grow and succeed."

"London is a unique city that offers great diversity and choice for foreign companies with over 300 languages spoken in the capital, favourable exchange rates for tourists and businesses, and a skilled and talented workforce. With the 2012 Games around the corner it never has been a better time to invest in London."

Michael Charlton, chief executive of Think London, said: “The current market conditions have created unique investment opportunities in London. Sterling’s depreciation of 27% against the dollar and 15% against the euro in the past seven months means foreign cash now goes further in London. Furthermore, the city now has lower commercial property costs and a wider talent pool offering a rich source of quality support to companies. London continues to have unique and unrivalled access to the European market with 500 million consumers on its doorstep.”

‘London Now’ will also see Think London work in co-operation with key commercial partners to generate up to £1 million, which will be used to provide further world-class services in support of overseas investors in London such as offering bespoke intelligence about London, business opportunities and connections. Additionally, Think London has recruited three new senior executives from the private sector to further enable its services to overseas businesses. The Mayor of London’s overseas staff will also assist with initiatives to attract foreign companies to choose London as a business destination.

London is continuing to invest in growth opportunities with infrastructure projects like Crossrail and the London Thames Gateway. At the forefront of investment is the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, a firmly established event which will generate an estimated £4 billion economic opportunity.

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