The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today (8th December 2017) announced a raft of new investments into London on the concluding day of his six-day visit to India and Pakistan. Speaking in Karachi, Sadiq said that Habib Bank AG Zurich, which already has eight branches in Britain, was planning to expand by adding two new branches in London, creating 50 new jobs.
He also said that his promotional agency, London & Partners, had this year secured more than 400 Indian jobs in the city’s tech sector. ICT company Wipro has revealed plans to open a new 13,000 square foot office in the City of London. This will be the company’s third London office. Wipro has 1800 employees in London and is continuously investing and growing in the region.
During his visit to the two countries, Sadiq met with business leaders and politicians to ensure that, as Britain prepares to leave the European Union, people in Pakistan and India know that #LondonIsOpen for business, students and tourists. In a major speech earlier in the week he also said that the United Kingdom government needed to do more to make sure students from the region continued to come to London, and proposed the reintroduction of a Post-Study Work visa.
The Mayor of London, who was speaking at Habib University – the first and only liberal arts university in Pakistan, said: “This has been a significant visit and one which will reap rewards now and in the years ahead. London already has extremely deep and enduring ties with India and Pakistan, but all relationships need to be nurtured and there has never been a more important time for the United Kingdom and for London to make sure these bonds and links remain strong, and continue to grow.
“Today, I have announced some key investments from India and Pakistan into London which shows that the city is a vital destination for business and will continue to be so.”
Other significant investments into London from India came in the hospitality sector. Sadiq said London & Partners had secured investment from Devyani International, which is planning to open seven tea bars, starting in London and spreading throughout the United Kingdom. While Old World Hospitality and Massive Restaurants will be opening a number of venues in the city.
Other investments include UPL, Apollo Tyres and Lalit Hotels bringing their global marketing HQ’s to London, in recognition of the city’s status as a world class business hub.
During the visit Sadiq was also joined by 18 of London’s high-growth technology companies as part of his International Business Programme, a scheme that offers some of the capital’s fastest-growing companies the support they need as they grow into new markets.
Companies that travelled on the trade mission included Baby2Body, an online platform which provides advice for new and expectant mothers, Spotify, the digital music service which allows access to millions of songs, and Winnow, a tech company which helps chefs measure, monitor and reduce kitchen food waste. During the visit, Winnow announced a partnership with Indian sustainability leader Diversey to fight food waste in the Indian hospitality sector.
Earlier in the week, Sadiq also announced the next round of the India Emerging 20 (IE20) programme – an initiative to discover more of India’s most innovative companies that are looking to expand internationally. A number of businesses on the programme have already successfully expanded into London, including Bangalore-based tech firms LatentView and Square Yards, drug discovery company, Curadev and e-commerce business, Vas data Services.
Muhammad Habib, President Habib Bank AG Zurich Group, said: “London is one of the world’s key global cities and a key international market for our bank, so we see this expansion as being an important part of our growth strategy. We are continuing to strengthen our links between the United Kingdom and Pakistan at this important time in the future of both countries.”
India remains the second biggest foreign investor into London, with Indian firms creating more than 4,500 jobs in London over the last 10 years – more than China, Japan and second only to the United States.
London is the sixth largest destination city globally for Pakistani foreign investment. Between January 2007 and August 2017 London attracted two projects with an estimated capital investment of over £40 million.