US delegation descends on London to explore business opportunities

A delegation of US business leaders will descend on London this week to explore expansion opportunities across the pond.

The three-day trip will feature a group of around 30 New Orleans delegates from the food, tech and banking industries, as well as representatives of the US city's business development district and local council.

Attendees are hoping to gain an insight into London's experience as a tech and digital infrastructure hub and explore opportunities for investment and international expansion into the UK, as New Orleans continues to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina

Organisers say the trip proves London's continued international allure, despite Brexit.

Mark O'Connell, chief executive and founder of economic development and foreign direct investment advisory OCO Global, said: "London continues to be a highly attractive destination for businesses looking to expand from key markets in the US."

He said the trade mission will highlight growth opportunities and promote a deeper understanding of the UK economy.

Delegates will receive briefings on the state of the UK economy and key economic regions by the likes of former Bank of England interest rate-setter and PWC economist Andrew Sentance, before touring the Francis Crick Institute biomedical research facility and networking with entrepreneurs in the East End.

They will also hear from the likes of Martin Phelan, international director of Northern Powerhouse investment at the Department for International Trade, and Lawrence Slade, chief executive of industry body Energy UK.

"London's success as an international business location offers great insight for New Orleans as it continues to regenerate its vibrant economy a decade after Hurricane Katrina, and looks to attract new talent, transform traditional industries using technology, and stimulate growth and prosperity through international trade," Mr O'Connell said.

OCO Global, which has helped organise the delegation, is appointed by the UK Government to help UK businesses entering the European market, and also works with a number of US companies to support expansion into Europe and Asia.

Among the US group will be representatives from Gulf Coast Bank and Trust, High Voltage Software, Louisiana State University, the Port of New Orleans, Mathes Brierre Architects, the Downtown Development District, and JCH Properties+.

The visit comes amid jitters over the shape of Britain's international relationships after Brexit - including with the US - with uncertainty still hanging over the number of free trade agreements it will be able to strike shortly after leaving the EU.

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