During April we held two Extraordinary Leadership Council meetings with the Rt. Hon. Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland and Dame Caroline Wilson DCMG, British Ambassador to China. The First Minister was very open about her keenness for the Scottish industry to work even more closely with London and the regions to strengthen its offer, rather than compete, and the industry’s key role in delivering Scotland’s net-zero commitments. Dame Caroline discussed the conflict in Ukraine and its implications for UK-China relations, broader UK foreign policy and offered insights on China’s zero-Covid strategy.
Following the initial launch of our ‘Green finance: a quantitative assessment of market trends’ report, prepared in partnership with BNP Paribas, with data provided by Refinitiv, we also held a roundtable event in Brussels, hosted by the City of London Corporation, to discuss the report’s key findings and sustainability issues more generally. We will continue to discuss the take-outs and themes from the report over the coming weeks and months with key stakeholders, including through a series of roundtables across the regions and nations.
Accessing the best international talent remains a priority for the industry. Following calls in our report with EY and the City of London Corporation for the UK to remove the need for intra-corporate transferees coming here for short-term projects to get work visas, we are pleased to be supporting a government team, convened by HM Treasury and supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Home Office, to gather evidence on short-term mobility frictions and explore policy options for alleviating them.
Further to our delegation to the US earlier in the year, we attended the first two meetings of the UK-US trade dialogues in Baltimore and Aberdeen with the USTR and Secretary of State for Trade. Discussions focused on digital trade, the levelling-up agenda, green exports and supporting SMEs and highlighted the need for us to continue our advocacy on the importance of services in free trade agreements.
We have also delivered part of an FCDO-funded project to promote links between Nairobi and the UK. This included launching in Kenya our ‘FinTech in Kenya: towards an enhanced policy and regulatory framework’ report, prepared in association with PwC and with research compiled alongside the Nairobi International Financial Centre (NIFC), which includes recommendations aimed at further enhancing the operating environment for the sector in market.
Through our regions and nations programme, we continue to engage key local stakeholders on topical issues. We have completed a series of roundtables focused on socio-economic diversity with the Socio-Economic Taskforce and themes and issues covered during these events, including data, culture and role modelling, will make a useful contribution to the taskforce’s final work. We have also recently held a roundtable with Clive Betts MP on the levelling-up agenda and the latest of our Member Briefing series offered the opportunity to hear from two of our City Chairs, Dr Nicola Bannister (Cardiff) and Richard Little (Leeds) and the activity they have been taking forward. If you missed that event, you can watch it here.
You may have noticed that we have launched our new website. As well as having better aesthetics, being more intuitive and easier to navigate, it also allows us to offer more content, making it easier to share news on our latest research, activity and events. I hope you enjoy browsing the site and would love to hear any feedback you might have.
As ever, this is just a small snapshot of what we have been working on. More details about our activities can be found on our ‘news’ and ‘work’ pages. If you would like any further information, please contact us.