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File photo / Lord Mayor of London Andrew Parmley
Lord Mayor of the City of London Andrew Parmley, the UK’s top financial and professional services ambassador, is visiting Maputo from today until 13 September to strengthen economic ties between Mozambique and the United Kingdom.
The Lord Mayor will meet business leaders and senior representatives of the Mozambican government.
London is a world-renowned centre for financial and professional services and Mozambique is a country that is developing its capital market.
The bilateral economic relationship between London and Mozambique has been strengthening in recent years. Data for 2016 show that UK exports totalled GBP101.6 million, an increase of more than 70 percent in just eight years.
The Lord Mayor’s visit marks the beginning of a new collaborative campaign by the British financial sector to fortify relations with international partners as part of a Commonwealth expansion program of which Mozambique is a member.
The Lord Mayor will address economic issues, including post Brexit relations, support to social classes without banking services, exploiting financial technologies and large infrastructure funding opportunities.
A key component of the Parmley’s discussions with the Mozambican authorities has to do with identifying the best ways to help the approximately 80 per cent of Mozambicans who do not yet have a bank account.
The program to strengthen financial inclusion in Mozambique is of particular relevance in this context, as the City of London is home to the world’s largest financial technology firms, with innovative solutions to make mobile banking an option in developing countries.
On his arrival in Maputo, Andrew Parmley said that he was eager to discuss trade and investment opportunities and to learn more about the challenges to the business environment. “British companies are committed to investing in dynamic growth markets around the world and I have the commitment to see our common interests grow.”
“The UK ranks ninth overall on banking inclusion, so this is something I am particularly interested in discussing – how UK companies can help people gain access to banking and global markets,” he explained.
Regarding the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, Mr Parmley said that the UK was reflecting on the prospect with its international partners, particularly in Africa, and said, “I hope that my visit will be an important step towards a stronger partnership with Mozambique in the post- Brexit era”.
For her part, UK High Commissioner Joanna Kuenssberg said that was is the second time that the Lord Mayor of the City of London had visited Mozambique in two years, which “demonstrates how serious our commitment to strengthening our economic ties is”.
The Lord Mayor is one of the most important personalities in the business sector in the UK, representing financial and professional services.
“At a time when Mozambique is developing its financial sector, I think our countries have a unique opportunity to work together to diversify the supply of financial services and increase trade and investment, bilaterally and regionally,” Parmley said.
Many British companies operating in Mozambique, he said, were already contributing to the growth of the economy, helping strengthen ties.