At the end of May The Rt.Hon. The Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley welcomed students and guests of the Institute into his official residence, Mansion House, for our 2017 Graduation & Prize Giving ceremony.
Congratulating students on their huge success, the Lord Mayor gave the audience an insight into the background of the magnificent surroundings:
"Mansion House, my home for 12 months, is a hive of commercial and diplomatic activity, hosting around 75,000 people a year.
"Originally built and paid for by traders and merchants from across the City of London, with the majority of the bill being footed by maritime, the UK's original exporters. You are the latest in a long line of history of global city traders."
Alderman Dr Parmley went on to explain that his current role as the 689th Lord Mayor of London is '...to protect and promote British trade and industry and to support strong commerce and strong communities - the two are interdependent. The role of the Lord Mayor currently is to act as a Global Ambassador for the UK's, not just London's, financial and professional services sector. Over the course of my year in office I will visit more than 30 key growth countries across the world, representing the UK's most important industries. During these visits I seek to open doors for UK business."
Paying tribute to the work of the Institute, the Lord Mayor noted that: "The Institute of Export & International Trade plays a pivotal role supporting British business and is doing sterling work to equip them with vital knowledge of process and procedure and best practice. Assisting them to innovate and grow profits, maximise high value opportunities, increase jobs and prosperity at home and abroad."
In his concluding remarks the Lord Mayor made reference to Dick Whittington - the real-life Richard Whittington was a wealthy merchant, dealing in valuable cloth from abroad, such as silks, velvets and cloth of gold, and was later four times Lord Mayor of London.
"The people in this room today play an important representative role looking after the vital relationships we have with our global partners.
"As you receive your awards in this beautiful building situated in the heart of the City, I hope you will reflect on the many great business leaders who have passed through these doors over the centuries and I, on behalf of the entire city that I represent, wish you every success in making your own contribution to the city story in the decades to come in your very own future careers. Let us hope that we are looking at several of the future Dick Whittingtons."
View the Lord Mayor's full speech in the video above.