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  • New roadmap set out to increase trade and investment between UK & India-
  • ASSOCHAM / YES BANK projects Indian exports to grow $64billion annually-
  • UK’s prominent position as the fourth largest FDI contributor to India-
  • India set to surpass China as fastest growing economy in the world in 2016-

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM)and the UK India Business Council (UKIBC)jointly signed a new bilateral agreement on Thursday 2nd July at the ASSOCHAM Global Investors’ India Forum, London, to further strengthen UK-India trade and investment corridors and establish a stronger relationship between investors and companies. The event also coincided with the launch of the UK Chapter of ASSOCHAM.

Supporting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make In India programme and in partnership with UK Trade and Investment, the roadmap aims to promote trade delegations and facilitate cross-border business relations to actively engage in identifying projects of mutual interest for Indian and UK businesses to invest.

Mr Vijay Goel, Chairperson of ASSOCHAM UK and Partner of Indian law firm Singhania & Co inaugurated the session and introduced the keynote speakers. He said, “India and the UK share deep commitment to fostering more investment and ASSOCHAM has recognized the need for the changing business and investment environment to encourage this.”

Mr. Rana Kapoor, President of ASSOCHAM and Founder & CEO of YES BANK, led the signing event with the release of a report titled Make in India – Pressing the Pedal. The exclusive report identified several key findings including a prediction that the value of Indian exports are expected to grow $64billion annually, as China loses out to India’s increasingly competitive labour market and growing working population.

Preeti Sinha Senior President & Global Convenor Yes Institute, Vijay Goel,
Preeti Sinha Senior President & Global Convenor Yes Institute, Vijay Goel,

Notably, the report underlined the UK’s prominent position as the fourth largest FDI contributor to India and, with India set to surpass China as fastest growing economy in the world in 2016, the UK is set to benefit from India’s energised export drive. The new road map will maximise opportunities for UK businesses and harness India’s potential especially in the fields of manufacturing, infrastructure and renewable energy.

Welcoming the signing of the agreement and the launch of a UK base for the Indian chambers, ASSOCHAM President Mr. Rana Kapoor stated: “India’s potential manufacturing and export-driven growth, key pillars of the India’s government’s Make In India campaign, offers a fantastic opportunity to UK investors and companies.

“As a hub for trade to the European continent, London is an excellent platform for new relationships to be built and we hope the strengthening of this corridor will improve the ease of doing business and provide British and Indian companies, especially in the SME sector, a new era of cross-border cooperation.

“The launch of ASSOCHAM in the UK is a turning point between UK and India relationships. The potential partnership between the UK and India is great but we cannot expect results overnight. To all investors here at this event, do not think twice, just invest: you will be successful.”

He added, “There is a tectonic shift happening in India’s SME sector. I want to commend Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his vision and foresight in tapping India’s vast potential. He has created confidence, conviction and communication, and he has opened up India to a world of possibilities.  India is a growth story, and this story is set to continue.’

The ASSOCHAM’s Global Investors’ India Forum saw keynote speeches from Rt. Hon. Patricia Hewitt, Chair, UKIBC, The Rt. Hon. Baroness Sandip Verma, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development, UK Government, Mr. Michael Boyd, MD, UKTI, Mr. G.P. Hinduja, Co-Chairman, The Hinduja Group and Mr. V.N. Dhoot, Chairman & Managing Director, Videocon Industries.

Mr. G.P. Hinduja, Co-Chairman, The Hinduja Group highlighted the unique position of India and it’s investment potential. He said: “I am British but my heart is Indian. I always look for ways of how I can grow India. The Indian Prime Minister has really put India centre-stage and it really is the right time to invest in India. The world’s future, economic prosperity and success lies in Asia – if India succeeds, then Asia will too. And if Asia succeeds, then so will UK and Europe.” Mr Hinduja also highlighted the effort and contribution of UK’s 1.6mn non-resident Indian audience in enhancing both UK’s and India’s economy.

Rt. Hon. Patricia Hewitt, Chair, UKIBC opened her keynote address by commending Mr Kapoor’s entrepreneurial spirit. She said: “India invests more in the UK than in the EU put together. Under Mr Kapoor’s leadership, ASSOCHAM has gone from strength to strength. By deepening and renewing the UK-India partnership it would be hugely beneficial to both countries.”

Mr. Michael Boyd, MD, UKTI, spoke about India and the UK’s cordial business relations, saying: ‘The UK is the largest G20 investor in India; over the last year, FDI into the UK rose by 50% creating 7,700 jobs.’ He also said that India is the third largest source market for FDI in the UK.

Speaking about the benefits of doing business in the UK, he said: ‘The UK is a popular destination for Indian business investors, and this is because it is easier to do business in the UK; the UK is the eighth best country to do business in.’

Mr. Boyd concluded by saying how this mutually beneficial relationship would increase jobs and direct investment, saying that the ripple effects would be felt throughout.

The Rt. Hon. Baroness Sandip Verma, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development, UK Government mentioned that her ambition is to have the UK as India’s number one partner. She said: “Without bodes like ASSOCHAM there would be no relationship between India and the UK. There is a real appetite for investment in India but there needs to be an ease for all businesses to enter India,from SMEs to large corporations. I value Mr Kapoor’s vision of creating an entrepreneur valley in India.” She also spoke about the opportunities India is presenting for businesswomen, stating, “India has many women led businesses and we need to encourage this.”

Mr. V.N. Dhoot, Chairman & Managing Director, Videocon Industries, gave the concluding comments by congratulating Rana Kapoor for taking ASSOCHAM to this great level. He said that the aim should now be to take ASSOCHAM to all G20 countries. ‘This is the best time to invest in India, as its economy is booming and it has political stability. I am confident that Mr Narendra Modi will build India in the next five years, it will take time, as Rome wasn’t built in a day, but we will surely get there. India can become an economic superpower in the world’.

Also in attendance at the event was Mr Praful Patel, Former Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Government of India who said: “India is really forging ahead and has its own growth story.”

The event closed with an Interactive Investment Forum to explore how India’s growth story can be fast tracked with confidence and conviction.

For the full report, please see the web link below: