For the past 23 years, Appointments Bi-Language has been at the heart of the international community in London. Our capital has long been one of the most cosmopolitan places in the world, which is just one of the reasons why our multilingual recruitment and translations services are so sought after.
Yet even during the time ABL has been in existence, London has continued to get even more international with every passing day and, nowadays in particular, it seems to be the super-rich who are increasingly turning to our capital to call it home. Recent years have seen an influx of new arrivals from all over the world. The wealthy from every corner of the globe have all flocked to our city to take advantage of the relatively cheap house prices and everything else the capital has to offer. In some cases, particularly for French nationals, the move has been a way of escaping punitive tax measures back in their own country, such as the 75% tax rate for all those earning more than € 1,000,000 a year implemented by Francois Hollande earlier this year.
Yet these new arrivals tend not to spread evenly across the city but instead cluster around certain very desirable areas. In Mayfair, where house prices for the 2012/13 financial year average out at a cool £6.5million, international property purchases are dominated by those from India, the UAE and arrivals from the tiny Gulf island of Bahrain. In Knightsbridge the Russians and the Italians dominate the market, whereas the French, whose numbers have increased significantly since Hollande’s 75% tax rate announcement, continue to make Kensington their home. A strange finding of the research is that, rather than these more central areas that are favoured by other nationalities, the Chinese seem very fond of more outlying Richmond, which was the most popular destination for arrivals from China last year.
The wealth that these individuals bring to the city contribute significantly to the capital’s recovering economy and mean that there is increased demand for a wide range of luxury goods and services from cars and property to furnishings, household staff and business services. International concierge services, high-end car marques and London’s top tier fashion scene have all reported significant increases in turnover, which many have put down to the arrival of our new neighbours.
So the message is clear; whilst it is clearly important that UK businesses continue to look abroad for growth, using language skills to win new contracts and foster new relationships, we mustn’t forget the sizeable international market that, for those businesses based here in London, is right here on their doorstep. The capital’s cash injection means that there is not only an opportunity for business right here in the City, but also an opportunity to foster the sort of international relationships which might lead UK companies into lucrative foreign markets. And with such a bright future for businesses equipped with linguists able to tap into this new wealth, particularly Russian, Arabic, French, Italian speakers as well as those who have mastered one or two of the 18 official languages of India, the number of new international arrivals to our City looks set to grow exponentially, along with the wealth they bring with them.
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