Mayor flies into US for trade tour


Published: Sunday 8th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Boris Johnson will fly into Boston to begin a six-day trade mission to secure American investment for British business.

London’s mayor is leading a delegation of representatives from the capital’s science and technology industries as he travels across the US East Coast holding talks with politicians, officials and business leaders.

He will head to New York City and Washington DC over the next few days on a tour that is also designed to boost London’s reputation as a destination for tourists and students.

Mr Johnson, who has dual US and UK nationality as he was born in New York, will kick off the trade mission with a walkabout in sub-zero temperatures of Boston’s “big dig” regeneration project, which saw major roads diverted underground.

The visit, which comes two weeks after a trip to Kurdistan and a tour of Singapore last November, has attracted criticism from political opponents.

Labour claimed the Conservative mayor, who is standing as a candidate at the general election, has “mentally checked out” of City Hall, while Green Party peer Jenny Jones, who is also an Assembly Member, said other people were being left to run the city.

“I feel he is lining himself up to be a global statesman when what we need is a London mayor on the case,” Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb told the Guardian.

The Mayor’s official spokesman dismissed the claims, insisting overseas visits were often at the invitation of Governments or city leaders.

“Each trip is focused on driving investment for London and for British business and have delivered substantial results for London and for UK plc,” the spokesman said.

“The US trip will focus on tech, life science, policing, higher education, Foreign Direct Investment, city to city co-operation, business engagement and investment, theatre, film, culture and tourism.

“The Mayor will be accompanied by senior leaders in tech and life science and a variety of SMEs in the sector seeking new business in the United States.

“Their association with the Mayor’s export programme opened new opportunities in the Far East recently and we hope to do the same here.”

Published: Sunday 8th February 2015 by The News Editor

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