London’s overseas network of promotional offices is to be expanded to a further six cities, including Paris, Berlin and Shenzhen, in a move Mayor Sadiq Khan says will help support the UK and London economies post-Brexit.
Tasked with helping to promote the capital and attract inward investment, City Hall’s first batch of offices were opened by former mayor Ken Livingstone. Quickly dubbed ‘Kenbassies’ by critics, the offices were reviewed and overhauled by his successor, Boris Johnson.
Now operated by London & Partners, the network has branches in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Mumbai, Shanghai and Beijing, and will soon expand to Paris, Berlin, Bangalore, Shenzhen, Chicago and Toronto.
The new Paris office will help promote trade and investment links with France, Spain and the Benelux region, while the Berlin office will support activities in Germany, Switzerland and Eastern Europe.
Mr Khan’s office says the new sites represent some of the most important markets for foreign direct investment into London.
In addition to the new locations, the existing San Francisco office will see its staffing increased.
“London remains a globally competitive city and I am committed to promoting the city internationally post-Brexit,” said Mayor Khan.
“Now, more than ever, we must have people on the ground engaging with businesses all over the world, including in Europe where historically there has been a relaxed approach to managing relationships.
“London & Partners will soon have more people closer to key decision makers, speaking to both existing and potential new investors to bang the drum for London as the best city in the world to do business.”
Andrew Cooke, Acting CEO of London & Partners, added: “The fundamental strengths that have made London a leading global destination for foreign investors have not changed following the EU referendum vote.
“But in an increasingly competitive landscape it is important that we continue to promote London as leading city for business, talent and innovation on the international stage.
“The decision to expand our overseas presence will help us to better engage key decision makers in our most important markets and sends a clear a clear message that London remains open to trade and investment with the rest of the world.”