Lord Mayor all set for financial tour of Hong Kong and China

Dignitary’s visit aims to boost relationships between key Eastern finance hubs and City of London, with strength of renminbi market high on the agenda

Eager to ensure that the UK will remain the “global partner of choice” for financial players in Hong Kong and China, current Lord Mayor of London Alan Yarrow is gearing up for an intensive tour of those very Asian territories from 16 to 25 September.

Following the initial Hong Kong leg of the trip, Yarrow will hop between the Chinese cities of Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing.

During his three-day stop-off in Hong Kong, Yarrow will meet with financial secretary John Tsang to explore the logistics of forging closer business ties between the two sides, and discuss a range of issues such as the ongoing development of an offshore renminbi market, plus maritime services, new financial technology and green finance.

Organisations set to take part in the talks include the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, the Securities and Futures Commission and the Financial Services Development Council – together with a number of British and local businesses. Yarrow will also promote a series of UK investment opportunities to the Monetary Authority of Macau.

In mainland China, the Lord Mayor is expected to meet senior government officials of Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen to discuss renminbi internationalisation, the development of China's capital markets, maritime services and other areas of mutual interest.

Importantly, Yarrow will witness renewals of memorandums of understanding between the City of London and Shanghai. He is also set to address the City of London-Qianhai Second RMB International Forum on cross-border renminbi services in Shenzhen, and will engage with a number of senior financial regulators in Beijing.

Speaking as that busy schedule was finalised, Yarrow said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to visit China during my mayoral year. China is a key trade and investment partner of the UK, so both the City and the UK government are committed to advancing UK-China economic relations.”

The Lord Mayor explained: “The UK is by far the largest recipient of Chinese direct investment in the EU, and London is a Western centre for renminbi business. Rather than rest on our laurels, we would like to encourage further collaboration and to facilitate inward investment for Chinese firms across all sectors.

“Moreover, China’s economic plan, including, for example, key components like the One Belt, One Road strategy, unlocks untapped potential with opportunities for shared growth and from which British firms can also benefit.”

He added: “2015 marks the beginning of a ‘golden era’ in UK-China relations. I look forward to welcoming President Xi Jinping during his visit this October when I host a banquet in the City in his honour and will look to cement even stronger ties between our two nations.

“My visit next week is therefore the latest step in reaffirming these close bilateral relations between our two counties as we move forward on the path to prosperity.”

The role of Lord Mayor of London has existed for more than 800 years – and Yarrow is the 687th person to wear the chains of office. Find out more about him here.

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