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CII recommences UK India Business Forum; platform to boost bilateral ties
Mar 20, 2024

CII recommences UK India Business Forum; platform to boost bilateral ties


The Confederation of Indian Industry recommenced the UK India Business Forum (IBF) in London on 19 March 2024. A forum of top Indian businesses present in the UK, it would act as a vital networking and knowledge-sharing platform for enhancing the Indian economic footprint in the UK.

Speaking at the recommencement, Mr Vikram Doraiswami, High Commissioner of India to the UK and CII IBF Patron said, “From the towels used in the centre court in Wimbledon, to the Jaguar Land Rover cars that ministers and royalty here drive, from hotels to technology companies, from medicines to 80% of Covid jabs by Serum Institute of India and Wockhardt in the UK, there is hardly any sphere in the UK that is not touched by the India relationship.”

“The IBF has huge value for us in plugging the knowledge gap, in creating a space in the relationship for the future through supporting business, investment and core strengths of our society which is openness, education, and the ability to take advantage of the brilliant innovation that happens in our labs and research institutes and bring it to market,” he added.

The platform actively tackles common challenges encountered by the Indian business community operating in the UK. Given the ongoing negotiations for an FTA between India and the UK, this platform gains even more significance, particularly with the escalating levels of bilateral trade and investment. India-UK FTA talks began on January 13, 2022 and 14 rounds of discussion have been held.

Keshav R. Murugesh, Chair of CII UK India Business Forum (UK IBF) and Group CEO, WNS, said, “This is a crucial time for both countries to extend cooperation in critical areas such as trade and investment, technology and innovation, climate action, the future of work, skills and education. By collaborating with the UK government, local businesses and academia, the UK IBF will strategically support Indian companies and champion 'Brand India' in the UK.”

Mr Ravi Limaye, CEO, Wockhardt UK speaking at a related event said that the UK market is the largest overseas market for the company. “One-third of all medicines used by the NHS come from India,” he added.

Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII stated, “The UK IBF is an exclusive group of corporate members, primarily Indian companies with existing or planned operations in the United Kingdom. With IBF 2.0, the platform provides an opportunity to raise shared concerns about policy and markets with relevant stakeholders. The CII UK IBF has undertaken some important initiatives in the past and some of its recommendations have been positively viewed by the UK Government.”

The UKIBF recommenced at an opportune moment as India-UK bilateral trade crossed £38 billion in the third quarter of 2023 and Indian companies are the second largest investors in the UK.

India and the UK signed a research and innovation agreement in April 2023, which aims to enable quicker, deeper collaboration on science, providing a strong framework for science and technology collaboration. The UKIBF would provide a platform for further discussions regarding technology collaboration.

A CII-Grant Thornton report of 2023 identified 954 Indian companies operating in the UK, with combined revenues of £50.5 billion. Together, the 954 companies employed 105,931 people and paid £944 million in corporation tax.

CII’s UK office, located in London, is over 40 years old and is a key part of CII’s international network.


March 20, 2024


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