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Berlin to go, english edition, 01/2019

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TEA TIME TEA TIME Lukas Breitenbach in conversation with Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor of London MR. MAYOR, WELCOME TO BERLIN! WHY BERLIN, WHY NOW? Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be in Berlin again! I’m in Berlin this week to meet with business leaders, entrepreneurs and local politicians to demonstrate that London remains open to German business, talent and investment. We have a strong trade and investment relationship with Germany and its vitally important that we continue to work closely with likeminded European cities that share our values. To coincide with my visit, I am delighted to announce a new city-to-city partnership with Berlin Partner and I will be attending the official opening of our new office in Berlin. Both these things demonstrate our desire to work together and build even stronger business links between London and Berlin. to be able to provide on the ground support to Berlin companies who are interesting in expanding or setting up in London. Our team in Berlin will also be able to provide local knowledge and advice for London-based companies looking to use Berlin as a launchpad into the German market. As well as helping international businesses setup in London, we also run the Mayor’s International Business Programme, an initiative to help London companies export or expand globally. We’ve seen a lot of appetite from London companies to expand into Germany and have recently run trade missions to Berlin, Hamburg and Frankfurt. We hope to host many more trade missions to Germany and our new office will help to make these even better for the companies involved. WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR THE LONDON OFFICE IN BERLIN? We see lots of opportunities for businesses across both regions and our new office will help companies maximise the great business environments our two cities have to offer. Our Berlin office will be our very first London hub in Germany and we’re really excited LONDON AND BERLIN ARE COMPETING FOR THE TITLE STARTUP CAPITAL OF EUROPE. HOW DOES THIS AFFECT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE TWO CITIES? With shared strengths for creativity, technology and innovation, it’s no surprise to see that London and Berlin have emerged as two of Europe’s leading start-up hubs. We want to see both London and Berlin continue to thrive 30

Photo: © Wolf Lux and our main objective is to encourage greater collaboration rather than competition. As two of Europe’s top business hubs we have a joint responsibility to lead by example and promote everything that’s great about Europe’s fast-growing tech sector and creative industries. Because if London prospers so does Berlin. HOW WILL BERLIN AND LONDON WORK TOGETHER AS PARTNERS IN THE FUTURE? We already have a strong working relationship with the city of Berlin but we see lots of opportunities for future partnerships. Our city-to-city agreement signed today will help us to share knowledge and expertise in fast developing areas where we share mutual strengths such as big data, fintech and Internet of Things. We also see a strong opportunity for us to work together on best practices for the use of technology to solve common urban challenges. By creating even closer links between our two economic development agencies, London & Partners and Berlin Partner, we can make it even easier for scale up companies to do business across both cities. Rajesh Agrawal Rajesh Agrawal was appointed Deputy Mayor for Economics by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, in June 2016. Born in India, Rajesh moved to London in 2001. As an entrepreneur, he founded two fintech companies. He is passionate about promoting entrepreneurship and creating opportunities for young people. Rajesh Agrawal is also the CEO of London & Partners. London & Partners London & Partners is the official advertising agency of the Mayor of London. Its goal is to foster London’s image worldwide and position it as the best city in the world – to invest, work, study and visit on holiday. In addition, the team also looks for creative ways to promote London and communicate the messages of the mayor to an international audience. London & Partners is a not-for-profit public-private partnership. 31

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