The Beijing Olympics are over and the Olympic flag has been handed over to the new host for the games. Having done it twice before (in 1908 and 1948), it is London’s turn once again to host the 2012 Olympics. However unlike the last two times, London’s mayor has recently appointed an IBAC (International Business Advisory Council) to advise him on issues related to the globalization challenges and policies to help make the British economy more competitive in the world. The Games are clearly of enormous importance to London and London's business. The main role of the council will thus be to advise the Mayor on developing opportunities, initiatives and ideas that make London a more appealing place for companies and their employees to live and work in.
The IBAC will consist of 47 international business leaders, including Microsoft’s Bill Gates, India’s prominent business leader Ratan Tata, and former president of the World Bank James Wolfensohn. While the creation of this council does sound like a step in the right direction for London, it will be interesting to see if London is actually able to differentiate itself and truly increase its visibility in the global business economy. And since the Olympic Games are mostly an excuse, it is possible that London’s potential success with the IBAC encourages such initiatives in other parts of the world.