March 28, 2017 / 11:49 AM / in 5 months

Paris, London plan Brexit-busting business, tourism tie-up

The Eiffel Tower is seen at sunset in Paris.Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - The capital cities of France and Britain will pool their tourist development resources and offer startup companies cheap rates on the Eurostar train link as part of an attempt to limit the impact of Brexit, the Paris and London mayors said on Tuesday.

"We are developing new exchanges and new projects. All these initiatives will create employment, activity and economic growth," Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said in a joint statement before meeting her British counterpart Sadiq Khan in Paris.

"It is a very positive dynamic that the Brexit will not change."

The two are meeting a day before the British government starts the clock on a two-year divorce process from the European Union and are seeking to reassure companies that the process will be smoother than many anticipate.

Khan is due to arrive in Paris later on Tuesday to promote the initiatives and to discuss security issues with Hidalgo and French Interior Minister Matthias Fekl in the aftermath of last week's attack on Britain's parliament.

"The cities of Paris and London have made a choice to focus on constructive alliance, rather than competition," the statement said.

"We have so much to gain from joining forces," Khan added.

Economists expect Britain's referendum vote last summer to significantly hurt trade and business links between the bloc and one of its largest members.

The statement contained no details about the co-operation, but said the two cities were working toward allowing startup companies to have a joint Paris-London domicile.

They will also be pooling the resources of the VisitLondon.com and Parisinfo.com tourism promotion operations that oversee industries worth a combined 34 billion euros ($36.92 billion)

Reporting by Andrew Callus; Editing by John Irish

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