London has been voted the best city in the world according to Tripadvisor. It has reclaimed its crown beating Paris into second place and Rome into third place. The constant footfall of tourists through the capital supports and maintains a considerable number of industry sectors; obviously, hospitality heads the list with the associated sectors behind it. Oyo, an Indian hotel chain, has identified London as its next target. Ola, the Indian rival to Uber and largest hail and ride business in India, has chosen Britain as the third country to launch in. Already up and running in Cardiff, Newport and Glamorgan, the next step is Greater Manchester and beyond in the near future.
City AM's report that London is the best place to start a business supports the evidence that globally London and the UK has not been written off. The City of London is still the top city as far as the financial services sector is concerned, generating $76.18 billion. Forbes quoted Sadiq Khan saying "Entrepreneurs, business leaders and investors cite London's talent, creativity, innovation and dynamism as key to its long-term success. The message is loud and clear: London is open to business and investment from around the world."
The City of London saw fintech investment reach $16.1 billion in the first half of 2018 and the recent figures from mayor's office relating to Indian investors indicate that £4 billion has been pumped into this sector by these investors in two years, which eclipses their input into Paris, Berlin and Stockholm combined. This is coupled with the Indian tech entrepreneurs coming to London and launching their own products in the UK as their gateway into Europe.
The City of London has highest number of banks and the largest commercial insurance market in the world and has frequently, over the years, been the subject of speculation as to whether it can maintain its premier position. Reuters reported the British government's forecast that the City of London will emerge stronger and will preserve its global position once Brexit is finally concluded as it has in the past when it has faced a challenge. The Secretary of State for international trade, Liam Fox, reiterated this view at the Guildhall saying "the demise of London's finance industry, known as the "City of London" has incorrectly been forecast during the last three decades and every time it found new ways to reinvent itself. The failure to join the Euro and the 2007/9 financial crisis were both predicted to rock and harm the City's status and contrary to the predicted disasters, in fact, resulted In expansion.
It has to be recognised that there will be challenges and the excruciating Brexit negotiations and subsequent parliamentary dramas have done nothing to assist. John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City, said: "I know the City wants and frankly deserves certainty." Whilst John MaFarlane, a former chairman of Barclay's bank pointed out that the City cannot take success for granted, particularly if the EU does close its markets to the UK. Whereas Catherine McGuinness, the political leader of London's historic financial district, commented, "the industry is exasperated with the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, which has hurt Britain's image abroad and will take time to rebuild."
However, all in all, despite the Brexit own goal, London is still a force to be reckoned with.
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