Paris took a noticeably humorous, but also font foot approach at MIPIM to attract London based business to the French Capital. UKTI threw money, if not great ideas, to try and show that the UK was still open for business. However, was the effort made by London, the regions and all the individual partners, undermined by the lack of attendance of London’s Mayor?
In past years one of the major draws for MIPIM not just for UK developers and businesses but also international business with capital to invest was the frequent visits of Boris Johnson. As London Mayor Boris always made time to attend Cannes for the World Biggest Property show and preach to the converts and the unconvinced about how great a city London is. Boris with his memorable quips drew big crowds for his keynote speeches and importantly made himself accessible and approachable to those who wanted to address specific development issues. This point is one which many attendees at MIPIM valued in previous years as investments are not always based on just the business plan, but also on the vision of the Capital’s leader.
Jump forwards to 2017 where Sadiq is now leading the Capital and is doing so at a time when the relationship with Europe is at an all-time low. On the one hand we say we want Europe (see UKTIs major spend at MIPIM) and on the other hand we say don’t (see major news outlets daily). Surely MIPIM would have been the perfect event to get across a clear message to the global property industry and major international businesses about our want to continue to engage with the international scene – or did Sadiqs lack of attendance say it all?