By CGTN’s Yang Shanshan
The Lord Mayor of London Andrew Parmley says his city is always open for global business and has a big interest in joining China's Belt and Road Initiative.
Parmley took office on November 11, 2016, when the city was trapped in a Brexit dilemma. It is estimated that up to 7,500 jobs in the city will be relocated to European cities due to Brexit.
Parmley said, “One of my jobs is to reassure the world that in fact, London is open for business. London has always been the No.1 global center for international trade and finance, and it always will be. I know that many people were concerned, in fact, some people expressed to me that they were shocked when they first heard the news. But let me reassure you London is not simply for Europe, London is a global trading city, always has been.”
The 689th Lord Mayor of the City of London Andrew Parmley waves from his carriage during the Lord Mayor's Show on November 12, 2016 in London, England./CFP Photo
Parmley led a business delegation to China on a 10-day visit in February. He met Chinese investors and government officials to seek opportunities involving international trade. London investors have always been interested in green finance and RMB initiatives, but the new topic this year is China’s Belt and Road Initiative. To enhance the city’s bond with Asia, London has named an Asia adviser for future cooperation.
Many financial institutes and law firms in the city have already eyed opportunities in the Belt and Road projects with its cross-border service, after London became the second-biggest offshore RMB trading center.
The cooperation along the Belt and Road is not only about trade, it also provides a bridge for cultural exchanges, as the ancient Silk Road did in connecting the West and East.
Parmley said, “One Belt One Road is an enormously long road. It’s very important that we share our language, our music, our drama, our interests, our food -- all these things are wonderful expressions of our shared cultures. If we understand each other at that level, doing business will be so much more simple.”