London: London’s Indian-born deputy mayor for business Rajesh Agarwal has pitched for greater financial autonomy for the British capital, underlining that it remains the “best place to do business” despite the Brexit vote.
Agarwal, a self-made millionaire and founder of foreign exchange giant Rational FX, reiterated London mayor Sadiq Khan’s commitment to ensure the city’s voice is heard during Britain’s negotiations with the European Union (EU) over an exit strategy.
“London was, is and will remain the greatest city in the world and best place to do business,” he said at an event organised by the London Chamber of Commerce Asian Business Association in the House of Lords complex on Friday.
“We will make sure London gets a seat when negotiations start (with the EU). It is about time London gets a bit more autonomy and more say in how its contributions to the GDP are used,” he said.
Agarwal, who was born in Indore and grew up in humble surroundings, said his new role was an opportunity to “serve London, which has served me so well”.
“I arrived in this city in September 2001 with 200 pounds in my pocket. I did not know anybody but this city gave me all the opportunities. Now, it is my opportunity to make a difference,” said the 39-year-old, who stepped down from his businesses to focus on his new role at City Hall in London last month.
The Asian Business Association marked its 20th year as the voice of Asian businesses in London at the event last week, with chairman Vijay Goel hailing it as the “jewel in the crown” of the London Chamber of Commerce.