by Deng Qian
LONDON, March 24 (Xinhua) -- The City of London has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with China, and "I hope my visit will lead to even closer cooperation in this Golden Era of relations between our two great countries", Lord Mayor of London Charles Bowman said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
Bowman has been leading a business delegation to Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing from March 19 to March 28, in a bid to strengthen the commercial ties with China and promote London's role as the natural western hub of the Belt and Road Initiative.
"We see China very much as a key and critical market to us, and the opportunities of expanding the golden ties that exist between our two countries is very much part of my remit," he said.
Bowman believed as an international financial center, the City will help Chinese firms realize their international ambitions and build the relationships and support they need to retain and expand their operations in Britain.
He hoped to promote the message that London remains a confidant global city and that is well beyond the Brexit.
He emphasized that London is a very unique cluster as a top international financial center based on a series of extraordinary fundamentals, including the rule of law, history, culture, talent, education, regulation, tax, innovation, time zone, infrastructure, language, security, property and above all a great place to live and work, which is an unique ecosystem.
"These are the things that over thousand years have generated the reason for, and support us for being a truly global cluster, which is very difficult to replicate," he said.
"As I mentioned we are a national jewel, we are a global jewel, very much a global hub for financial and professional services, and we recognize the great strength and ties between London, the UK and China, and we are keen to extend those," he added.
With respect to UK-China financial cooperation, he said London has developed a very strategic fintech center since the global financial crisis.
It's a wonderful one-stop shop -- tech and financial services right next door to each other, with good governmental tone for the top, user friendly regulatory environment and very sound private investment. "We are very keen to make sure we collaborate with China, and make sure we will have win win between the two countries."
Speaking of the Belt and Road Initiative, He said, "We see ourselves very much as the natural western hub for the Belt and Road, and we for one are very keen to make sure we offer our expertise across all sorts of service provision in the support of what is an extraordinary vision, the size and scale of which the globe has never seen before."
He noted he will also promote the importance of creating the digital silk road, where the City of London's expertise in fintech and technologies such as blockchain can play a strong role.
In regard to the ongoing Brexit negotiations, Bowman said: "We're quite confident we will find the right pragmatic, practical and ambitious deal with Europe, that provides for a win-win -- a win for the UK, a win for the Europe, and also a win for our global partners."
He said the City has been promoting the three "T"s -- transitional arrangement, talent and trade.
The City has confidence that the UK will arrive at the right place in relation to a transitional agreement, put in place an immigration policy that is absolutely fit for purpose, and reach a pragmatic, practical but ambitious free trade agreement that benefits all sides, he added.
The lord mayor of the City of London represents the City's business circle and helps companies make advises to the government on what is needed to make sure the financial sector function well.
The City of London is a historic, financial district -- an enclave surrounded by Greater London -- with a mayor distinct from that of the rest of London.