02 Mar 2017
'Wales in London' aims to provide better links between Wales and London and allows people and businesses in Wales to become more involved with issues important to them. In promotion of the network, First Minister Carwyn Jones visited RICS HQ earlier this week to launch the inaugural Wales in London week.
The event helped communicate the benefits of investing in Wales, including a highly-skilled workforce, excellent connectivity with London and the rest of the UK, Cardiff’s status as an international city, and the cost advantages of locating in Wales, where Grade A office rents are very competitive.
The First Minister made a keynote speech promoting Wales as a key investment location to over 70 delegates who joined us to hear the First Minister promote investment in Wales. As he addressed topics such as infrastructure and Brexit and took questions from the audience, he also endorsed International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS) on behalf of the Welsh Government, making Wales the first devolved nation to adopt them.
In his speech the First Minister said Wales is at the cutting edge of the technological revolution; the home of pioneering medical innovation, a world leader in marine energy and a centre of excellence for skills and manufacturing.
Wales also has an agile, devolved Government willing to work with investors to make things happen quickly. We are an open, responsive and business-friendly government with access to a highly skilled labour market. That is why unemployment in Wales is at a 10-year low and our inward investment performance remains at record-breaking levels.
The First Minister was welcomed by RICS Managing Director UK & Ireland Matt Howell and RICS Wales Chair Helen Kane. As Matt highlighted in his speech, last year alone, some £681 million was invested in Wales by overseas headquartered companies, creating and safeguarding almost 7,000 jobs, showing the vital importance of foreign trade and investment to Wales.
Following the First Minister's speech, an expert panel debated the opportunities for investing in Wales, which was chaired by Lead Director for Jones Lang La Salle, Cardiff, Chris Sutton. Also on the panel were: Director Trade & Inward Investment for the Welsh Government Andrew Gwatkin; Head of Economic Development at City of Cardiff Council Ken Poole; Managing Director for Real Estate Finance at Santander UK Andrew Whelan; and Partner at Hugh James Caroline O’Flaherty.
After the First Minister then hosted a St David’s Day reception at Lancaster House to engage with London-based foreign diplomats and businesses with an interest in Wales, before heading to the United States to continue his push to promote Wales as an investment destination of the highest quality.
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