The Wharf Says: The new business age


While economists are, not unreasonably, fretting about the dire state of the British economy, we're leapfrogging the modern troubles to look a little further ahead.

With the economy in a state of flux, the old traditions beyond repair and even some of the new post-dotcom paradigms looking ropy, the shape of things to come is far from certain.

But Wharf-based bank HSBC has picked apart some new business habits and trends and it doesn't look bad for east London.

According to HSBC's Future Of Business report, replacing those symbols for factories and power stations "tomorrow's maps will contain symbols for wind farms, robotics, nanotech, biotech and gaming software parks, as broadband connectivity, regional diversification and a growing emphasis on the bio and tech sciences rewrite our notion of region-specific industries".

It reports on a melding of social networks and business methods, the rise of "bleisure" - business and leisure and "collaborateering".

As one of the report's contributors says: "There are no employees and entrepreneurs, only levels of professionalism."

All this suggests a virtual business community but HSBC sees for London a concrete future in robotics, nanotechnology, stem cell research and renewable energies.

In recent days, the Royal Docks have been placed in the shop window, touting for investors from the superrich currently nesting in China, Asia and the Middle East.

The incentives of the enterprise zone may be small fry for the big hitters, but this new innovative, clean, green, quick on its feet economy has to settle somewhere.

Already, the brownfield sites are gearing up to accept new innovative industries linked by an enviable post-Olympics transport system.

The Siemens centre, the Green Enterprise Zone, the post-Games development and the Tech City suggest the east has not only the potential to be the engine of London's (and therefore the country's) growth but has the necessary factors that would entrench it as a world city in the vanguard of a new business age.