New York: London is attempting to simultaneously shrug off investment concerns brought on by Brexit and also bolster its reputation as Europe’s leading start-up hub in order to attract international investors, especially from China.
Deep in London’s East End, the UK capital’s historic Royal Albert Docks has become the site of the biggest gamble in its 130 year history.
The Chinese property development giant ABP is investing two billion U.S. dollars transforming a once derelict site into a new financial and technological hub.
The boss of ABP’s London operation is confident that if they build it then the businesses will come. "Even after Brexit, London still has a very strong position and also connection in Europe and it will be the key location and strategic location for the businesses that want to enter Europe and to the whole world market," said Nancy Xu, the CEO of ABP London. London’s financial institutions are fueling investment for a record number of Unicorns -- startups turned billion-dollar companies. Despite these successes, Chinese investment in commercial property in the UK fell by more than 70 percent this year, according to new data from the international property consultant Cushman and Wakefield. Although the post-Brexit situation seems dire, there is some degree of optimism fueled by figures from the law firm Baker McKenzie, which claimed that Chinese investment in the UK doubled last year to a record high of more than 20 billion U.S. dollars. Brexit, says some observers, will not impeded on that investment. "In terms of research and development, scientific discoveries and all that, UK remains a very strong candidate and the Chinese in their economic development, they are looking to move up the value chain and looking for new tech and new ideas as well,” said Chen Shirong, the managing editor of the China Report Magazine London Tech Week 2018, which will go until June 17, has become a window of potential that is being closely examined by Chinese investors.