From June 10 to 12, the Monaco Economic Board has scheduled a trade mission to London. A conference was organised on Monday, April 22, at the Castelroc restaurant in the presence of Eric Blair, Honorary Consul of the United Kingdom in Monaco. Jo Hawley, His Majesty’s Deputy Trade Commissioner for Europe at the British Embassy in Paris, provided a useful and instructive preamble.

Since leaving the European Union, a new page has been turned for the United Kingdom, full of challenges and opportunities. This is what the MEB would like to highlight for its member companies this year.

On Monday, Jo Hawley, HIs Majesty’s Deputy Trade Commissioner for Europe and Country Director for Business and Trade in France at the British Embassy in Paris came to Monaco to talk about the business environment in her country, the opportunities available,
and the business potential between Monaco and the UK.

(From left to right) Guillaume Rose, Executive Director of the MEB; Eric Blair, Honorary Consul of the United Kingdom in Monaco; Jo Hawley, Deputy Trade Commissioner Europe and Minister Counsellor for Commercial Affairs at the UK Embassy in Paris; Justin Highman, Deputy Director General of the MEB

The diplomat, who had come in particular to “explain a few misunderstandings about the economy”, pointed out that since 2016, the date of the Brexit referendum, the British GDP has grown more than that of Germany and as much as that of France, and forecasts are better for both countries for the next few years.

Another point highlighted was the revival of British industry driven by its government and the support provided to SMEs, which make up 99 percent of the private sector. Although the migration of jobs from the City to continental Europe is sometimes mentioned, London’s financial power “continues to prosper, thanks in particular to the 73 free trade agreements signed with various countries, the agreement with the European Union and the forthcoming integration into the CPTTP transpacific partnership agreement”.

London’s expertise also makes it a key location for fintech and, more broadly, a hub for new technologies. According to Mrs Hawley, these are all characteristics likely to be of interest to Monegasque companies: “After the United States and China, the United Kingdom is the country that has seen the birth of the most unicorns – 140 to date, valued at over £1 trillion. Artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, semiconductors, clean energies such as hydrogen and quantum technologies are among our priorities.

Finally, referring to the general election, which will be held in January 2025 at the latest, Jo Hawley believes that the change, if any, will not have significant repercussions for business. “The current government and opposition have moderate approaches, and the UK business community is calm on this issue”.

After a lively question and answer session, discussions continued over a networking lunch, enabling the entrepreneurs present to forge new links and learn more about each other. The vast majority of them have already signed up for the trade mission to London. The mission is already fully booked, with nearly fifty companies taking part, confirming the strong interest of the Monegasque business community in the United Kingdom.

ORIGINAL SOURCE & IMAGES: Monaco Economic Board