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Boris to lead Far East trade visit

Boris Johnson is set to meet world leaders on a business tour of the Far East months before he bids to make a return to national politics in the Commons.

The London Mayor is leading a trade visit to Singapore, Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur and will meet Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak and Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The high profile international visit, which follows trips to China and India earlier in Mr Johnson's mayoralty, is tasked with "banging the drum" for London in rapidly growing markets.

Mr Johnson will work alongside a UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) mission taking delegations of British small and medium sized businesses to meet potential customers in each country.

The Mayor said: "It is vital to continue to bang the drum loudly for the capital's status as a world class destination for business, jobs and innovation.

"The truly dynamic cities of Singapore, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur are delivering exciting infrastructure and regeneration at a fast pace and are the perfect partners for London to share knowledge and expertise across many important sectors.

"By strengthening ties we secure long standing relationships that will form the basis of an abundance of opportunities for Londoners and people for the Far East to work together on future possibilities."

During the six day visit, Mr Johnson will highlight London's financial technology (FinTech) industry which has produced projects such as contactless payments on the London Underground.

The industry, which employs 44,000 people, generates £20 billion in annual revenue for the UK economy.

Other events include a meeting at Singapore's Botanic Gardens with executives and scientists from London's Kew Gardens, including chairman Marcis Agius. A fellowship will be awarded by the Botanic Garden to Kew as the two organisations embark on scientific exchange projects.

And Mr Johnson will deliver the annual Khazanah Global Lecture in a major speech to 200 of Malaysia's top business and political leaders. Previous lectures have been given by Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary General, and Manmohan Singh, the former Prime Minister of India.

The UKTI delegation includes of 26 of London's leading creative technology companies covering data consulting, Smart technologies, web analytics, and FinTech.

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