Jeffrey Mountevans, Lord Mayor of London, spoke to La Republica about the possible implications Brexit will have in Costa Rica, as well as the investment options that exist for the country and British trade. This is the first time a Lord Mayor of London has visited Costa Rica.
What do you have to say about Brexit and what could it mean for relations between both countries?
I would rule out that Brexit will have great impact on investments of British companies in Costa Rica or the local trade there. I think that opportunities are high and the truth is, I remain optimistic regarding relations between the two countries, as I told President Solis on his visit to London last May.
The effect on commercial and business activities won’t be so deep, it’s not like we are taking a nosedive, financial markets are already recovering, we are beginning to have more confidence from that perspective. Change is always something that raises doubts, awakens fear, but we will continue working to strengthen our relationships.
In terms of future business, however you evaluate them, what steps should our country take?
I have the expectation that everything will increase in the future. I know that the governments of Central and South America are going to continue to do business with the United Kingdom. I came to the country to provide support in various areas, including infrastructure, financial technology, insurance, and public-private partnership opportunities. We in the United Kingdom have decades of experience in these types of activities. We feel that they are projects that may have an incredible transformative capacity in societies.
In matters of financial technology, what can we improve?
London is one of the most important financial centers in the world, we have many advancements in technology and actions that can help modernize the Costa Rican press. Although, I must stress that the financial institutions here are very good.
In the field of insurance?
It is possible that London is one of the countries of the world with the greatest development of the insurance market, but there is still a lot to learn. I think that training and having strategic partners would greatly help in growth.
What could we learn from the stock market? It is small in Costa Rica and few companies are listed.
The first thing is to offer various tools. There are programs for all types of businesses, from small to large, looking for international markets. There should be a market in which search funds are easy and cheap, so that investors can see opportunities. We can train Costa Ricans in this and in many other financial affairs. There are even programs at our universities that can be taken advantage of; look for scholarships at our facilities that will give you the chance to expand your knowledge. Economic, financial, and the stock market are part of our specialties.
What did you think of Costa Rica?
I met with President Luis Gillermo Solis, some Ministers, as well as with the representatives of the banking sector and its authorities, the President of the Central Bank, and some investors and entrepreneurs. I would like to spend more time here to learn more about the country, but in my position, I have to represent all trade and business units in London with this trip to over 30 countries.
Who is he?
Mountevans is the 688th Lord Mayor of London in history, his likings are related to polar exploration and exploration of Scandanavia, as well as marine duties.
- Name: Jeffrey Mountevans
- Title: Lord Mayor of London
- Age: 68
- Studies: The Nautical College, Pangbourne; Pembroke College Cambridge
- Career: Director of the Gas Division, Clarksons company of maritime logistics 2001-2014; member of the company since 1972