By Daniel Hunter
The largest ever Prime Ministerial trade delegation arrived in India today (Monday) as part of the Government's determined effort to promote British business abroad and to help Britain succeed in the global race.
Over 100 companies are participating in the three day visit, including more than 30 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), along with Ministers Lord Green, David Willetts, Hugo Swire and Greg Barker.
They will meet with a number of Indian Government Ministers, inward investors and businesses in both Mumbai and Delhi, as the Government seeks to link British businesses up to one of the world’s fastest growing economies, predicted to become the third largest by 2050.
The Government today announced that it will support the creation of a new pan-India network of British Business Centres by 2017, the first pilot in a scheme of 20 overseas business networks, backed by £8 million of Government funding. The new business centres will offer business-led, business-backed, support to UK businesses, particularly SMEs, in India.
The Government has also produced a study for business called 'UK India: A Natural Fit' that identifies eight key sectors where UK strengths match India’s economics requirements. This demonstrates that there are valuable opportunities for British businesses, big and small, from all sectors of the economy stand to gain from India’s growing prosperity.
The Prime Minister said: “I am determined to everything I can to ensure that Britain succeeds in the global race and to link British business up to the world’s fastest growing economies. As India grows, it needs a partner that can support its ambition — in infrastructure, in energy, in healthcare and more.
"It wants its business to have unrivalled access to European and global markets and its students to get the best education in the world. Britain can do all these things and more. So, we have to get out there, make the case for Britain and open doors for British business.”
Trade Minister Lord Green said: “We are on track to double our trade with India by 2015. India has great potential to become one of the largest markets in the world. UK businesses are rightly recognising that they can reap the rewards of looking outside Europe for trading partners, selling their goods and services to high growth markets outside the EU.
“Government is clear that we must build deeper ties with India. This means supporting and encouraging a range of companies, both large and small, to do business there in the future.”
Delegates making strides in boosting their own presence in India include Debenhams, who are opening ten new stores across India by 2017, and UK hairstyling brands Brylcreem and TRESemmé whose products are going on sale in India.
Today will also see the announcement of a new partnership between The Royal Mint and the MMTC-PAMP India to strike The Royal Mint’s gold sovereign commemorative coins in India for the first time in nearly a century.
The trip takes place as a series of trade and investment deals are announced which will create 500 new jobs in Britain and safeguard around 2000.
New trade deals announced today include:
* Wolverhampton based Brit Health Care opening their first primary health care centre in Delhi, with plans to develop a business unit employing 20 people in Wolverhamption to enable them to make further gains in overseas markets.
* Benoy has won a new contract to design a shopping mall just outside Bangalore, creating or safeguarding 25 highly skilled jobs.
* Mott MacDonald has been appointed design engineer for six stations of the £2bn Hyderabad metro project. The firm will provide architectural, structural, and public health design services as well as design consultancy for various stations along the line.
* InterContinental Hotel Group to expand in India by building 13 new hotels over the next few years, safeguarding hundreds of jobs in the UK.
* Porvair has been selected to design and build char filtration systems in Jamnagar the largest oil refining complex in the world.
* Hampshire-based Serco, the international service company, is today announcing a partnership with ICICI Bank, India’s leading private sector bank, to jointly service led payment solutions for the Indian transportation industry.
Investment announcements made today include:
* Ashok Leyland is setting up its first overseas technical R&D centre in Warwickshire at the MIRA Technology Park, creating 30 new jobs.
* Polaris will expand their operation in Belfast offering customers from the financial services sector innovative cloud computing services, with a potential for 30 new jobs.
* Hinduja Global Solutions will expand their TalkTalk operations in Preston, hiring 70 new staff.
* Sahara will open a new International India Centre at the University of East London creating 70 new jobs.
* Tata Consultancy Services will set up a secure, state-of-the -art, delivery centre in Liverpool, employing over 300 people.
* TVS Logistics Group has acquired UK company Ricoh, safeguarding 1000 jobs.
* Monarch Realty and Developers, a leading Mumbai based property developer, has acquired a third care home in the UK, safeguarding almost 50 jobs.
The Government will also use the trade mission to encourage more innovative technology companies from India to set up in the UK. It will launch a competition, supported by British Airways, to offer 3 entrepreneurs the opportunity to visit Britain on a tailored programme that will encourage them to set up here within the next 18 months, creating jobs and bringing innovative IT processes and solutions to the UK.
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