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Several Opportunities for British Business in India: Foreign Secretary
Sep 15, 2020

There are several opportunities for British businesses in India. This was stated by Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Foreign Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India while addressing the Inaugural Session of CII@125 Annual Conference in the UK - "A New India-UK Economic Partnership in a New World: Lives, Livelihood & Growth" organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry over a virtual platform today.

According to the Foreign Secretary, major reforms have been carried out in India in areas such as infrastructure, taxation, Aadhar, mobile connectivity, agriculture and the JAM trinity among others. This has led to India becoming one of the leading destinations for foreign investments in the world. He stated that India has already received US$ 20 billion worth of FDI this year despite the global slowdown. He invited UK companies to take advantage of the business opportunities that are emerging due to the reforms.

He stated that the Covid – 19 outbreak provided a unique opportunity for India to transform itself from a passive market to an active manufacturing hub. He was of the view that India and the UK could cooperate in areas such as drugs and pharmaceuticals especially vaccines, services, manufacturing among others. He observed that the Indian and UK economies were complementary and items designed in the UK could be manufactured in India.

Ms Gaitri Issar Kumar, High Commissioner of India to UK stated that India and the UK have created a well-established trade and investment eco-system. She stated that as India seeks to connect up with global value chains, it finds a ready partner in terms of the UK. The two countries have synergies in areas such as healthcare – specifically in terms of development of API’s, medical equipment manufacturing, and creation of health infrastructure, among others. Other areas where the two countries could work together include Fintech, renewable energy, information technology, and manufacturing especially in the defence sector among others.

Mr. Uday Kotak, President, CII stated that India is the 2nd highest FDI contributor to UK and the UK is the 6th highest FDI contributor to India. The two nations have a long history of collaboration. He observed that the UK is currently undergoing a transformation thanks to Brexit and this creates an opportunity for India to step up its engagement with the UK.

Mr.  Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII stated that with Brexit around the corner, there was an urgent need to discuss trading arrangements, by way of Free Trade Agreement or Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. He also stated that with the US – China trade war and the COVID-19 pandemic playing havoc with supply chains, the time is opportune for India and the UK to enhance the India – UK partnership in manufacturing. In terms of mobility. he welcomed the new Points Based Immigration System in the UK and hoped that it will create a level playing field for skilled workers coming to the UK from India.

15 September 2020

New Delhi
 

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