London mayor Khan announces plan for trade link with Chicago

In the last decade, London has attracted more Chicago-based businesses than any other European city - with US companies undeterred by Brexit

London mayor Sadiq Khan has today outlined his intention to build a trade link between the UK’s capital city and Chicago.

Announced at an event hosted at London start-up hub WeWork Moorgate, Khan, accompanied by Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, said he will look to explore city-to-city collaboration in areas such as financial services and technology.

Part of his #LondonIsOpen campaign, Khan was adamant that, despite Brexit, London remains open to investment, talent and innovation.

According to data from London & Partners, London is the leading global destination city for Chicago businesses looking to establish a base outside the United States.

London is also the also the leading global city for foreign direct investment (FDI) from the United States, with over 1,500 investment projects creating around 60,000 jobs for the capital over a ten year time period.

In the last decade, London has attracted more Chicago-based businesses than any other European city, twice as much as second-placed Singapore.

Post-Brexit investments into London from Chicago businesses include international law firm Baker & McKenzie, futures exchange group Eris Exchange and financial services firm TJM Holdings.

When looking over the past ten years, notable Chicago investments into London include insurance giant AoN moving its international headquarters to the UK’s capital, as well as real estate specialist Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), and the world’s largest aerospace company Boeing also establishing a London presence.

In his meetings with Chicago business leaders and mayor Emanuel’s delegation, Khan plans to build on the relationship established during his international trade mission to Chicago and New York last September.

Last year, Khan led a trade delegation of 30 of London’s fastest growing businesses on a trip to Chicago and New York to explore export and investment opportunities.

As a direct consequence of the visit, several London businesses are now negotiating deals with major US clients and one London business, Rocketspeed, has already doubled its US revenue following a partnership made on the trade mission.

During the Chicago visit both mayors also announced a joint initiative to establish the ‘Chicago-London City Data Alliance,’ a collaboration to continue measuring and distributing data to improve both cities.

Khan, said:

“I am delighted to welcome mayor Emanuel to London today and to build on the excellent relationship that we formed when I visited Chicago last year.

“London is the best city in the world in which to set up or grow a business so I am delighted that Chicago companies and entrepreneurs are coming here in record numbers, bringing jobs and investment and helping our economy to flourish.

“London will always remain outward-looking and a magnet for global talent with an unbeatable blend of creativity, access to finance and a time zone that overlaps other financial centres of power.”

Emanuel, said:

“The economic and cultural partnerships between Chicago and London have generated unparalleled investment and job creation on both sides.”

“Together with mayor Khan we are going to continue to strengthen these partnerships to benefit both cities for years to come.”

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