Mayor confirms new opportunities for London’s small businesses

27 February 2015

The Mayor of London has announced opportunities for London’s small businesses to ‘go global’ today, as new trade missions were confirmed to the United States, China and Hong Kong. The new missions are part of the Mayor’s Export Programme, which has been set up to help London’s small and medium sized businesses export to overseas markets or help businesses that are already trading make them move into fast growing emerging markets.

These missions follow the Mayor’s successful trade mission to the east coast of the US earlier this month when forty- one small businesses accompanied the Mayor including cyber intelligence company, Digital Shadows, who secured an £8m investment while on the trip.

Fintech firm Remitia have also announced that following their participation in the Mayor’s trade mission to the US, their future order book now stands at $15bn in supplier instant payments. Once converted, this will represent multi-millions in contract revenues for the enterprise payments specialist. They were the first company to secure a deal during the visit to the US, when they signed a partnership with NASDAQ-listed eProcurement firm Elcom International, based in Boston. They anticipate announcing at least one other important strategic alliance gained as a result of the successful trade mission within weeks.


New trade missions confirmed today were:


  • A China Marketing and Strategy Mission in partnership with KPMG (11-15 May 2015). This will provide ‘a mini marketing MBA’ at Fudan university in Shanghai to help London businesses understand how to do business in a rapidly growing economy overseas.


  • A mission to Philadelphia (14-18 June 2015) that will enable small businesses in London’s burgeoning medical and life science sector to attend the world’s biggest bioscience convention.


  • A mission to Hong Kong and Macau (4-9 July 2015) that will offer businesses the chance to build on their regeneration and technology expertise in Asia.


As part of the Mayor’s commitment to supporting London businesses engaged in exports his Chief of Staff, Sir Edward Lister, will attend an event hosted by Centre for London in Canary Wharf today (27 February) where London will sign up to become part of the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase. The Initiative was first set up to help American cities develop their export strategies and today’s event will bring cities from around the UK together with representatives of cities from the United States to discuss forming new trade partnerships.

The Mayor of London’s Chief of Staff, Sir Edward Lister, said: “Keeping London competitive has never been more important and the challenge of increasing the export of goods and services should never be underestimated. But the missions we have announced today and the links we are making through organisations such as the Global Cities Initiative will help keep London in a leading position.”

Peter Kaldes, head of Global Cities at JPMorgan Chase, said: “We applaud Mayor Johnson’s commitment to furthering London’s trade and exports program.There’s a real opportunity for UK cities to deepen ties with the US, and the partnership with the Global Cities Initiative will allow for our city councils to learn from each other to help grow our local economies"

Marek Gootman, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Global Initiatives at the Brookings Institution said: "London already is the world's most international city, but its continued vitality and job creation depends on strengthening its global economic connections and competitiveness. Joining the Global Cities Initiative will provide London with new data, best practices, policy ideas, and direct trading relationships with US counterparts."

Centre for London is an independent think tank. Ben Rogers, Director of Centre for London said: “It is great news that the Mayor is launching new trade missions to increase London's links to growing markets. London's international trade has traditionally concentrated on Europe and North America, but if our businesses are to continue to thrive we need to respond to a changing global landscape. Centre for London research has shown the increasing economic importance of China, so we welcome the Mayor's efforts in strengthening ties and improving opportunities in China for London businesses.”

The founder of Remitia, David Brown, commented: “Boris Johnson has shown exceptional foresight, commitment and resolve with a dynamic export programme that is focused on opening doors for London’s Fintech enterprises globally, enabling innovation to flourish. The recent trade mission to the US has accelerated our business trajectory beyond our expectations. As a direct result of the visit, in addition to phenomenal new business wins and key partnerships, we have secured and finalised a major investment funding round and are also in the advanced stages of hiring a high profile executive in the US to join the group.”

Applications are now open for the Mayor of London’s Export Programme missions to the USA, China and Hong Kong/Macau. Further details can be found at:

The Mayor's Export Programme is delivered in partnership with UKTI and is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and London Enterprise Panel.