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By CECILY LIU | China Daily UK | Updated:2017-11-27 18:19Charles Bowman wants the City to play a large role in the Belt and Road Initiative. Right, a Chinese float at his parade. [Photo/China Daily]The City of Londons new lord mayor will push for the United Kingdoms main financial district to do more business with China.
Charles Bowman, who became the 690th Lord Mayor of the City of London on Nov 10, said he would like to leave two “China legacies” during his year in office.
“Im really keen to grow financial and professional services engagement between China and the UK, and promote London as a natural Western hub for the Belt and Road Initiative,” Bowman said.
His call follows China announcing unprecedented
access to its markets for foreign financial
companies. The Lord Mayor of London represents the capitals financial district and is also leader of the City of London Corporation. The role differs from the much more powerful Mayor of London, who is elected and oversees the whole of Greater London.
Bowman has already felt Chinas strong presence in the financial district. Three elaborate floats staged by Chinese groups took part in the Lord Mayors Show on Nov 11 to celebrate the start of his year in office.
And, two days later, Prime Minister Theresa May said during the Lord Mayors Banquet that she was committed to “maintaining the golden era relationship with China”.
The “golden era” was a phrase coined during President Xi Jinpings 2015 state visit to the UK. It describes the fresh impetus for bilateral investment and trade. So far, $18 billion of Chinese investment has gone into non-financial sectors in the UK, which is more than China has invested in any other European country.
Further growth is imminent, especially because many UK banks and asset managers are now making plans to invest in China, in light of announcements by the Chinese government on Nov 10 stating that the country is allowing foreign financial companies to own up to 51 percent majority stake in financial joint-ventures.
Bowman said other areas of tremendous opportunity for UK companies include Londons continued growth as an off shore renminbi hub and the growing number of Chinese financial institutions establishing subsidiaries in the City of London.
He traveled to China three times prior to taking up his role as lord mayor. He supported former lord mayor Jeffrey Mountevans visit to Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Hong Kong last year, attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing in May, and the China Wealth Forum in June.
“I came back inspired,” Bowman said, recalling hearing Xi talk about his vision for the Belt and Road Initiative.
“I recognized all that we in the UK can do to support that vision,” he said, adding that he hopes the Citys whole spectrum of financial businesses can get involved- including law, finance, engineering consulting, accounting, project management and others.
Bowman, who has built a successful career as a partner at the accounting firm PwC, has witnessed Londons financial center change throughout the decades. He said one major change was the fast expansion of Chinese institutions and the emergence of Chinese talents, both playing an important role in the Square Miles diversity and international engagement.
The City of London now hosts around 30 Chinese companies, including banks, security firms, insurance companies and investment funds. The Bank of Chinas UK chief executive, Sun Yu, is chairman of the Association of Foreign Banks, which demonstrates the significant role Chinese financial companies play in London, Bowman added. Related StoriesChina ties important to Britain especially after Brexit: British economic secretaryChinese market will entice UK financial servicesWeChat Pay digital wallet debuts in UKUK budget hits unlikely to worry Chinese investorsPhotoRenowned sneaker designer has million-yuan handsThe worlds top 10 tech cities in 2017Yiwu global manufacturing expo gets underwayJack Ma lectures African entrepreneurs at AlibabaChina-developed AC312E helicopter completes plateau testsYoung Kenyan gets share of Chinas internet celebrity economyMost Viewed in 24 HoursState Council NewsChina to establish Made in China 2025 national demonstration zonesPremier Li meets with Chinese team of World Skills CompetitionTop 10Worlds top 10 cities in economic competitivenessEditors picksSamsung unveils intelligent assistant BixbyChina to land on Mars in 2021 despite challengesChina DataTop executives of US companies share views on innovationQ&A With CEOSights and sounds of the future3D caught in sharp focusSpecial2017 Summer DavosChinas Q1 economic dataBACK TO THE TOPHOMECHINAWORLDBUSINESSLIFESTYLECULTURETRAVELWATCHTHISSPORTSOPINIONREGIONALFORUMNEWSPAPERChina Daily PDFChina Daily E-paperMOBILECopyright 1995 -var oTime = new Date();
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