Speaking today on his visit to Lusaka, The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley, said:
The UK and Zambia have built a strong business relationship over recent years, and I am committed to ensuring our two nations continue to work together.
In particular I look forward to meeting the Governor of the Bank of Zambia, where I hope to better understand how macro-economic policies are supporting economic growth, and hearing how the UK can help continue this.
Firms in the UK are committed to investing in dynamic growth markets across the world and I am committed to seeing our shared interests grow. The UK is ranked ninth in the world in terms of banking inclusion, so this is something I’m particularly interesting in discussing with business and government leaders to emphasize how British firms can help people across Zambia access banking and the world’s markets.
The UK’s most senior ambassador for the financial and professional services sector is visiting Lusaka to strengthen business ties between Zambia and the UK. The Lord Mayor will meet senior government representatives as well as leading financial and professional services firms based in the region.
London is the world’s leading financial and professional services centre, while Zambia is developing its position as a finance hub in Africa. Both have benefitted from strong relationships with one another, which have deepened in recent years. The latest data shows that exports from the UK to Zambia totalled £64 million in 2015 – increasing by more than 45% in just 8 years.
Zambia’s financial sector is making great strides forward in diversifying its services offering and increase trade, with firms exploring ways to offer more specialised financial products, such as investment banking, portfolio financial packages, and issuance of corporate bonds. Improvements made to strengthen the economy and wider financial sector across Zambia have not gone unnoticed, with global credit rating service Standard & Poor’s recently revising up its grading just last month.
Speaking ahead of the Lord Mayor’s visit, the British High Commissioner to Zambia Fergus Cochrane-Dyet OBE said:
I am delighted to see another visit by The Lord Mayor of the City of London after the successful visit last year. This demonstrates increased interest among business firms about doing business with Zambia as well as the UK government’s commitment to help grow the country’s economy and reduce poverty through trade.
I encourage Zambian firms to take advantage of the visit by building mutually beneficial business links.
The Lord Mayor’s visit marks the start of a new collaborative campaign by the UK’s financial and professional services sector to build relations with international partners as part of a Commonwealth expansion programme.
The Lord Mayor will attend high level meetings to discuss how London can continue to work closely with Zambia, especially after the UK leaves the European Union. Discussions will centre on strengthening existing trade links, helping bank the unbanked, exploring new FinTech (financial technology), opportunities and to understand how policy and regulation can work more effectively to bolster innovation.
About the Lord Mayor of the City of London
The Lord Mayor is head of the Square Mile’s City of London authority for one year and the position is unpaid and apolitical. It is an exceptionally demanding role; the Lord Mayor spends some 90 days abroad and addresses some 10,000 people face-to-face each month (making around 800 speeches a year).
The Lord Mayor represents City businesses and helps the City Corporation advise the Government of the day on what is needed to help the financial services sector to function well. The Lord Mayor frequently travels to represent the City; and travels overseas with the status of a Cabinet Minister.
On average, the Lord Mayor will meet one head of state a month and will meet a prime minister or finance minister each week to discuss financial services, often in conjunction with senior City business representatives. The Lord Mayor, who is unpaid, lives in the Mansion House for the Mayoral year.
More information on the Lord Mayor can be found here.
Millie Allen, Financial Services Media Officer, City of London Corporation
D: 0207 332 1388
M: 07710 860 886