UK and Indian businesses promote bilateral trade

By on 11/11/2010 in News

Representatives from up to 100 Indian SMEs met in Birmingham today as the High Commission of India hosted the return leg of David Cameron's summer trade mission to India. 

The UK-India conference to promote bilateral trade with the SME manufacturing sector, hosted by Birmingham City Council, featured workshops led by Tata Motors and visiting Indian business organisations. The event also coincides with India celebrating its 60 years of Republic this year.
The event was an opportunity for Indian businesses to explore potential business collaborations with UK companies in the manufacturing and technology sector.  The UK's reputation, specifically in life sciences, low carbon technologies and advanced engineering is of particular interest to Indian attendees.
Over 2000 UK SME manufacturers already either trade or invest in India or are very positive to do so and see it as a viable growth market according to recent independent research by the Indian High Commission.
H.E Mr. Nalin Surie, High Commissioner of India to the UK, will be welcoming delegates to the event.  He is confident that SMEs from both nations will benefit from the advanced technologies expertise the event will offer.
“British SMEs are keen to expand using the opportunities that Indian markets provide for them. SMEs on both sides can complement each other, particularly in advanced engineering, clean technology, energy efficiency systems, renewable energy, and many others”, the Indian envoy said.
“India and the UK agreed, during Prime Minister David Cameron's recent visit to India, to be ambitious in seeking to substantially increase trade and significantly increase investment between the UK and India.” 
Birmingham City Council will host the event in conjunction with the High Commission, as it looks to implement David Cameron's vow to strengthen relations between the two states.
Councillor Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council, and President of Business Birmingham, the city's inward investment programme, believes that the UK manufacturing sector is a key growth area for UK-India relations.
“Manufacturing will play a hugely important role in the UK's economic recovery, with our highly skilled workforce and favourable exchange rate for export it already accounts for 11% of our economic output.  However, I echo David Cameron's sentiment that the UK should look to strengthen the trade relations it already enjoys - the UK should be India's Partner of Choice, not simply due to the economic sense it makes, but because of the shared rich cultural and social history of our two nations, perhaps best represented in the makeup of the city of Birmingham. With predictions that its economy will be that of the UK, France and Germany combined by 2040, trade missions such as these present us with an exciting opportunity to collaborate further with a market which is growing at an exponential rate.”
On the opportunities to develop the trading relationship between the West Midlands and India, he added:
“The West Midlands has always enjoyed healthy trade relations with India being second only to the US for foreign job creation in the region between 2003 and 2009 - higher than the rest of the UK.  This event will ensure Birmingham is an opportunity for Birmingham to strengthen business ties and become an ambassador for the UK's ongoing relations with Indian business.”
The UK-India conference will feature contributions from Tata Motors, Aston University, Loughborough University and the Warwick Manufacturing Group as well as nine visiting Indian business organisations such as Delegates Engineering Export Promotion Council of India and The National Small Industries Corporation of India, amongst others. Delegates will also hear from leading business speakers and participate in workshops that focus on promoting growth in strong sectors for both countries and provide opportunities for forging new business relationships and networks.
Notes to Editors:
UK Trade Mission to India in June:
David Cameron's 'jobs mission' to India took place in July this year, where the two governments announced a £700m deal between BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and India’s leading aerospace company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited to supply 57 Hawk trainer aircraft to India, supporting 200 UK jobs.  David Cameron also outlined that he wished to make the UK “the partner of choice” for India in relation to trade.
India's investment potential
India has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The Indian market provides an opportunity for UK companies' goods and services with a trade relationship already worth £11.5 billion a year. The Tata Group, both India's largest industrial group and an automotive giant, purchased Jaguar Land Rover in 2008 and is now the largest manufacturing employer in Britain, while the country also plans to invest over $500 billion in infrastructure, giving British companies the opportunity to generate growth.  
Birmingham manufacturing industries
Birmingham's manufacturing sector plays an integral part in the City's economy, employing over 48,000 people, accounting for 10% of the city's workforce.[1]
The city has a higher concentration of manufacturing employment than any other local authority in the UK. The West Midlands region plays a key role in the national manufacturing base.[2]
Manufacturing in the West Midlands is the most productive of the major sectors and the biggest creator of wealth. It accounts for 27% of Regional Gross Value Added (GVA) and generates GVA per employee 30% above the regional average.[3]
Key sub-sectors within manufacturing in Birmingham include basic metal products, food production, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering.
Business Birmingham
Business Birmingham is the city's official inward investment sales and marketing programme, part of Marketing Birmingham's destination marketing strategy.
Media enquiries
Rebecca Charlton, Business Birmingham, 0121 202 5006 or 07540 534 616 email on

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