BA’s Willie Walsh to head London Chamber of Commerce
23.9.2010 (Evening Standard)
British Airways boss Willie Walsh was today named as president of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
The LCCI is hoping that Walsh, who will serve a two-year term, can raise the
profile of the lobbying organisation which represents London businesses both large and small.
The Irishman’s appointment comes as firms raise fears about the City’s competitiveness
because of such measures as 50% taxation, the cap on immigration from outside
the European Union and the need to upgrade transport infrastructure such as the building of Crossrail.
Walsh said: “Today London stands as the world’s leading centre to do business
but tough economic conditions and increasingly fierce competition from abroad
is now placing that position under threat.
“I want to see London move further ahead of rival world cities in order to attract
and retain the very best people and companies.
“To do that we need to have the right infrastructure and skills, and ensure that
the Government creates a much more pro-business regulatory environment.”
Like Walsh, the LCCI has backed calls for a third runway at Heathrow despite the Lib-Con Government’s decision to veto the plans. Some other top
London business leaders have opposed the third runway.
The BA chief executive replaces Stephen Greene, executive chairman of property
investment firm Rankvale, in the LCCI role.
Comment from an AirportWatch member:
The Chamber of Commerce has always been guided by pro aviation in London so this
move is not really a surprise. The downside is that this might open more doors
for Willie Walsh…..or perhaps they were already open.