They are some of the most magnificent and expensive vessels in the world and this weekend they started arriving in London as the world’s global CEOs brought a touch of glitz and glamour to the capital in time for the Olympics.The Ilona, a super-yacht owned by Frank Lowy, the co-founder of the shopping centre group Westfield, has moored in Canary Wharf, not far from the company’s new retail complex in Stratford. The vessel has been joined by the Octopus, the 414ft luxury craft owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
While it is not known if Mr Lowy or Mr Allen themselves are in London along with their yachts, the Olympics are expected be a magnet for the international business elite.
Company chiefs from around the world will descend on the capital for the UK Trade & Investment’s British Business Embassy, which is holding a series of summits to coincide with the Games.
Sony Chairman Howard Stringer, Google’s Eric Schmidt and Christine Lagarde, the International Monetary Fund’s managing director, are expected to be among more than 3,000 people who will attend the business event. David Cameron and George Osborne will attend along with Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, and William Hague, the Foreign Secretary.
The summits will cover a diverse range of topics, from China and education to advanced engineering and infrastructure, and will provide an opportunity for leading industry figures to promote British business while the world’s attention is on the capital for the Games. A number of deals are likely to be signed.
The Prime Minister said: “The Olympics will not only bring the world’s best athletes and thousands of sports fans to our country, but the major business players are coming too. This once in a lifetime occasion will provide UK companies with more than a billion pounds business opportunity.”
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