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Boris: Look on 'London's digital tentacles', ye mighty, and despair!

Mayor in overstatement non-shocker as tech chinwag week starts

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London mayor Boris Johnson and ex-New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg have today opened the inaugural London Technology Week.

It's estimated 30,000 people will attend 200 talks and workshops over the next five days, covering everything from big data to "digital ladies". The confabs and demos will be held in locations sprinkled around the east of Blighty's capital.

Microsoft, Samsung, Google, Eventbrite, Yammer and other orgs have sent along representatives along with homegrown outfits such as Mind Candy and Hassle.

London's bigwigs are keen to hammer home the importance of technology for the future of the city, with the promotional body London & Partners predicting the sector will grow by 5.1 per cent a year until 2024, raking in £12bn and creating 46,000 new jobs.

In a canned statement, Johnson wildly claimed: “Tech Week is a superb opportunity to hail the success of London’s tech sector, which despite only being in adolescence already makes a tremendous contribution to our economy and is outperforming our rivals around the globe.

"The tentacles of our digital army now spread to every corner of the capital and far beyond."

Further research by South Mountain Economics and Bloomberg Philanthropies found that the tech sector in London and the South East of England is growing at a faster rate than California. Financial technology is particularly buoyant, with more Londoners employed in the sector than denizens of New York City or Silicon Valley.

Bloomberg chipped in: “Ten years ago, no one thought of New York or London as a competitor to Silicon Valley – but today, more and more tech companies are looking to our cities as places to launch and grow, because they offer such diversity, creative talent, and high quality of life." ®

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