‘When London succeeds – the country succeeds’



London can capitalise upon its unique global standing to spearhead the UK’s economic recovery and lead the country towards a more sustainable and equitable future.

That is the view of CBI Director-General Tony Danker, who will expand upon the capital’s pivotal role in shaping the nation’s long-term prosperity at the business organisation’s Summer Reception today.

The virtual event, sponsored by Cadent and attended by more than 100 of the city’s leading business figures, will also hear from London Mayor Sadiq Khan in his first major business address since winning re-election in May.

Delegates will gain insight into how the ambitions of the CBI’s new economic vision for the coming decade – Seize the Moment – can guide London to renewed international success, and catalyse wider economic growth across the UK.

The vision provides a blueprint for future-proofing the economy by turbocharging moves towards net-zero, accelerating innovation, building new international relationships and triggering growth within and across regions.

The CBI says success in these areas can enable London to overcome challenges around deprivation and inequality by improving health, opportunity and inclusivity for people throughout the city.

CBI Director-General Tony Danker will say: “This is a unique moment in London’s history. This year, we’ve had a global pandemic, a tech surge, a new EU relationship, and we’re months away from COP26. We will never have a greater opportunity to transform our economy and society, for the better, than right now. This is our chance.

“That is why the CBI has launched an economic strategy for the UK. It builds on months of research to identify big opportunities – not just for the country, but for London too.

“Because there’s no doubt that we’re one of the world’s great cities. Internationally, London sits in a very small peer set, competing with cities like Shanghai, Paris, Tokyo, and New York. But we can’t be complacent, or take this for granted.

“London’s global competitiveness should be at the top of our minds. Because when London succeeds, the rest of the country succeeds. And this is our moment to show the rest of the world how it’s done.”

Tony Danker will outline opportunities for business to work with City Hall in growing London’s economy and influence.  They include:

  • On decarbonisation: Harnessing excellence in energy, transport, heat, tech and green finance, to become the world’s number one decarbonisation enabler, showcasing CBI climate action exemplars, and where possible, working towards mayoral ambitions to be net-zero by 2030.
  • On innovation: Building on the success of ‘Silicon Roundabout’, London Tech Week, and City Hall’s Civic Innovation Challenge to grow SME tech adoption – worth £450billion to the UK economy – and reinforce the UK’s standing as Europe’s top destination for FinTech investment.
  • On levelling up: Mobilising enterprise to work with the Mayor to tackle inequalities within London by investing in skills, driving regeneration and creating opportunities, particularly for young people and disadvantaged Londoners.
  • On global trade: London’s promotional agency, London & Partners, has added more than £2billion to the city economy – and supported at least 68,000 jobs – in a decade. Lessons learned can help more firms – particularly SMEs – embrace these opportunities and encourage more investment into the capital and greater exporting.
  • On health: Building on London’s long history as a home for medical and scientific progress. Engaging all businesses in supporting employee wellbeing – a solid foundation for strong productivity.
  • On inclusion: Working with the GLA’s London Recovery Board to ensure fair recruitment practices, pay gap transparency; ensuring work is a place where anyone can progress, with no barriers to entry based on gender, race, disability or background. While creating a new London Disability Taskforce; to support employers in creating the most inclusive workplaces and employment opportunities.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “It has been an incredibly difficult last 16 months for the capital, but I’m hugely optimistic that as we emerge from lockdown London is well placed to ensure a strong recovery and to transform our economy for the better.

“London continues to lead the way globally with our talent and innovation in areas such as tech and tackling climate change, and it is exciting to see the CBI’s ambitious plans to support a sustainable recovery that also tackles inequality.

“My mission as Mayor is to put the dark days of the pandemic behind us and build a fairer, greener and more prosperous city. As ministers mustn’t forget, having London’s economy firing again on all cylinders will be absolutely vital for the UK’s economic recovery, and building a better society post-pandemic.”