London looks to cement trade links with SA
As the 689th lord mayor of the City of London, I act as an ambassador for the UK’s financial and professional services sector, and have been in SA this past week to meet with senior business and government officials to discuss how we can build closer business ties between our two countries.
During my year in office, visiting both established and emerging markets was a key priority for me, and as Africa’s most developed economy, I looked forward to discussing how we can ensure Britain remains a vital partner for businesses across SA.
London is the world’s leading financial centre, boasting an unparalleled clustering of expertise, and the UK’s regional centres of excellence, such as Leeds, Edinburgh and Bristol, complement London’s exceptional global offer. One of the UK’s key strengths is our leadership in the field of financial innovation, with London a key global centre for both green finance and Islamic finance. I would encourage South African companies to explore these two financial products as possible alternative financing routes for investing in future growth and prosperity.
In London we are also looking to the future, with the rapid growth of fintech quickly becoming one of the City’s crown jewels. More people are employed in this sector in the UK than in New York alone, or in Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia combined. I see real possibilities for British fintech firms to collaborate with South African firms to help people across Africa access banking and financial services in a way that is not currently facilitated by physical banking infrastructure.