James Ashton: London needs to woo the students, too
All this talk about whether London will really reap much of an economic benefit from the Games makes me think back to a speech given as the Olympic flame arrived at City Hall.
There was little of note in the brief address from Muhtar Kent, the chief executive of Coca-Cola: a pledge to recycle bottles, the firm's long commitment to the Games movement – it was more or less predictable.
Then Mr Kent remarked that London will forever have a place in his heart. A glance at his CV confirms this long-held affection dates back to the time he studied administrative sciences in the capital at Cass Business School. Talk is cheap, especially when bosses are competing to flatter London's place in the world while it hosts the Games, but I think there is something in this. Attracting investment and jobs is all very well. There are plenty of reasons for overseas firms to come here: the time zone, language, (mostly) stable political regime. But having chief executives who have been educated in Britain can't harm our prospects when they are ensconced in the boardroom 30 years later.
Silicon Valley does this brilliantly to remain ahead of the pack. Its key defence from high-tech centres growing up in India and China is to lure the world's best students to Stanford and Berkeley universities and keep them there.
Our Government, which has been schizophrenic over visas and whether overseas visitors can stay or leave, has been far less clear.
The Olympics are giving the bosses of multinational firms a nice reminder of what London has to offer. All the better if they had been lured here far earlier in their careers.
In pictures: Saturn images from Cassini probe as it prepares to turn lens towards Earth
New banker bonus boom: Payouts leapt 64% to new record when Chancellor George Osborne cut top-rate tax to 45p in April
'There's something quite unpleasant going on': Nigel Farage confronted for second time on visit to Scotland ahead of Donside by-election
Poor children are being let down by schools, warns Ofsted
World news in pictures
- 1 ‘Hello, NME? I’d like to complain about your Tom Odell review. Why? I’m his dad’
- 2 Richard Nieuwenhuizen death: Six teenagers and 50-year-old father convicted of manslaughter in shocking case of referee killed over a game of football
- 3 Exclusive: Newcastle United's star talent-spotter Graham Carr on brink as Joe Kinnear sparks walkout at St James' Park
- 4 Vast methane 'plumes' seen in Arctic ocean as sea ice retreats
- 5 From charmer to bully: My encounter with Charles Saatchi
iJobs Money & Business
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: We have a very exciting opportunity with a maj...
£500 - £600 per day: Orgtel: FX Options Front Office Java / C# Developer - Ba...
£600 - £700 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager - Front Office - Regulatory IT C...
£600 - £750 per day: Orgtel: FATCA Project Manager - Banking - London - £600-...