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  1. ITV Report

City chief to visit NI to forge pre-Brexit ties

The Lord Mayor of the City of London is visiting Northern Ireland later this week in a bid to strengthen ties ahead of Brexit.

The City is one of the world's pre-eminent financial services centres and Dr Andrew Parmley is keen to improve technological collaboration.

Belfast has been identified as the ideal location for the UK's innovation centre for cyber security and the City's ambassador for the financial sector will tour it during his visit.

Earlier this year, a report co-authored by PWC and TheCityUK projected that by 2025 Belfast would be the second fastest-growing centre for finance in the UK.

Dr Parmley said, "Northern Ireland's financial services sector has seen exponential growth in recent years, thanks to its technological innovations, skilled workforce, competitive cost of property and ability to attract inward investment.

"I want to ensure that this trend continues and am delighted to be visiting the region. It is now more important than ever that our two regions continue seamless and regular dialogue to ensure shared prosperity."

There are around 1,200 financial services companies based in Northern Ireland, employing about 33,000 people.

The Lord Mayor will be joined by the City's special representative to the EU. It will be the first time the City's most senior figures have made a joint visit to Northern Ireland.

During his term, the Lord Mayor has already visited 25 countries across the world including Hong Kong, Pakistan, China, South Africa and Mexico.