Mayor Livingstone has said the capital must “forge ahead with investment despite facing a temporary economic slow down” if it is to maintain its position as a successful business centre and global city.
The Mayor made the comments at the ‘Global Capital’ conference in central London yesterday which was also attended by Mervyn Davies, Chairman of Standard Chartered and Chairman, Business Council for Britain and Skills Secretary John Denham.
Speaking yesterday the Mayor said: “This year, in August, London will officially take over from Beijing as the host city for the Olympic Games. This will give an unprecedented opportunity to promote London and its businesses internationally and could not come at a better time. A few years ago London compared itself on Paris or Frankfurt but today we look at ourselves ahead of, equal to, or slightly behind New York. That is a comparison for the number one city in the world”
“What are we projecting to the world as we head into the four years leading to 2012? That the 2012 Olympic Games are taking place in London – the world’s most international city. A city that has moved ahead of all others because it has embraced globalisation. A city that has opened itself up to the rapidly growing market economies of China and India.”
“A city that is on the cutting edge of international technology, finance and business but also one in which its citizens have the greatest range of choice and life styles available to them of any place on the planet. A city that has more nationalities and ethnic groups than any place on the planet but where the community relations are among the best in the world. A city that takes seriously its position as a global citizen by pursuing among the most advance policies on climate change in the world. In short the city that leads the world in the key trends of the beginning of the 21st century.”
The Mayor’s message was supported by businesses leaders in the capital. Harvey McGrath, Chairman of the business organisation London First said the city “sets the world standard in financial and business services, in creative industries and in life sciences.”
“At a time of global economic uncertainty, London must maintain its competitive edge – a business environment which encourages investment and enterprise and which welcomes the best from all cultures. We must also work to fulfil the potential of all Londoners, so our success is truly sustainable.”