Queensland welcomed The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman William Russell for the first time recently, as a part of an historic virtual visit.

The Lord Mayor’s first ‘visit’ to Queensland was part of a wider Australian tour to enhance engagement between the City of London and Australia despite international travel disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Queensland Agent-General and Trade and Investment Commissioner for Europe Linda Apelt and TIQ Europe were integral to Alderman Russell putting Queensland on his program, and facilitated the Queensland components of the virtual visit.

‘Although virtual, this was a historic occasion and an important signal to the revitalised and increasing Queensland-UK trading relationship,’ Ms Apelt said.

‘The City, or the “Square Mile” as it is known in London, is a global centre for financial and professional services, and the City of London Corporation is an important and historic UK institution.

‘TIQ Europe is engaged with the City of London Corporation on a regular and increasing basis to unlock high-value trade and investment opportunities across green finance, pension funds, and the institutional investment, environmental, fintech, and social and governance sectors.’

The Lord Mayor of the City of London is also an international ambassador for the UK’s financial and professional services sector.

His Queensland visit included a webinar hosted by the Australian British Chamber of Commerce and the City of London Corporation, and a meeting with representatives from QSuper and the British Consul General for Queensland and the Northern Territory Jo Freeman, facilitated by TIQ.

Alderman Russell said he relished the opportunity to connect with Queensland.

‘We all know that the UK and Australia are old friends, so I was delighted to have been so warmly welcomed by His Excellency the Governor of Queensland and QSuper recently during my first ever virtual visit to the country,’ he said.

‘This was a particularly great opportunity to strengthen collaboration in green finance and fintech – 2 areas of our industry which will be key catalysts for post-pandemic global economic growth.’

The UK is the world’s leading net exporter of financial services, generating an industry trade surplus of nearly £63 billion.

Ms Freeman said the timing of Alderman Russell’s visit was fortuitous.

‘As we continue to work towards closer trading ties and negotiating a free trade agreement, it is important we focus on key areas of our industries, like financial and professional services, which offer even greater opportunities to strengthen future collaboration,’ she said.

Alderman Russell’s Queensland visit was in response to invitations issued by His Excellency the Governor of Queensland Paul de Jersey AC and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk when they visited London last year.

A video courtesy call with His Excellency the Governor concluded the Queensland leg of the visit.

The virtual visit took place from 20–23 July and coincided with the conclusion of the first round of Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

Queensland businesses wishing to explore opportunities in the City of London should connect with the TIQ team in the UK.