International Trade

US growth open to London firms as Chicago crowns UK capital top global business city

3 min read

16 September 2016

Former deputy editor

As part of his campaign to develop strong trading ties between the US and UK, London mayor Sadiq Khan’s department has found that the British capital is the leading global city for foreign investment from Chicago.

According to the findings from London & Partners, more Chicago-based businesses have chosen London for worldwide growth over the past decade ahead of cities including Tokyo, Singapore, Amsterdam and Paris.

Khan has teamed with Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel to showcase the data as part of his US trade mission, which is designed to create more exporting and investment opportunities between London and America.

Some of the notable Windy City operations that chose to invest in London include property firm Jones Lang LaSalle, insurance company AoN and global aerospace leader Boeing.

“Boeing has doubled its workforce in the UK over the past five years and we intend to do so again in the years to come. London will play a crucial role in our growth plans at several sites, across our defence and commercial businesses, as well as our subsidiaries,” said Michael Arthur, president of Boeing Europe and MD of Boeing UK and Ireland.

Real Business was in Chicago this summer – this is what we experienced:

As part of his campaign, Khan has drafted in 23 tech SMEs to spread the word about London’s digital industry and the opportunities available. To that end, he’s hoping more Chicago companies will join the capital and follow in the footsteps of Groupon, online food service GrubHub and fintech firm Avant. Additionally, brokerage TJM Holdings will open its first European office in London.

“London is the world’s most competitive city, offering expanding international companies unrivalled talent and creativity and a time zone that overlaps with other financial centres of power,” said Khan.

“Our technology sector is unparalleled across Europe, open to all and home to all manner of tech and digital companies who are helping to drive economic prosperity across the capital. I am delighted that Chicago businesses are investing in London and recognise that our great city is a true business powerhouse.”

Backing that up with stats, London & Partners has noted that London is the most diverse and largest tech hub in Europe, now employing over 200,000 people. Some 40,000 digital tech companies are currently in the capital and that’s set to pass 50,000 by 2025.

In addition to Chicago, Khan and his crew will also travel to New York to promote London to businesses in the Big Apple.

Ever wondered what takes place in a toy inventor’s workshop? One that has operated in the US over a period of almost 30 years? We did – and received a tour of Chicago-based Big Monster Toys with CEO and president Don Rosenwinkel.

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