Nick Clegg urges firms to seize the opportunities for trading with India

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is leading a UK trade delegation to India. Picure: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is leading a UK trade delegation to India. Picure: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Monday, August 25, 2014
11:17 AM

Firms in the East of England are being urged to seize the opportunities of trading in India ahead of a government drive to boost trade links between the two countries.

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Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is today beginning a three-day visit to India with a 40-strong trade delegation to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the new Indian government’s focus on economic growth. He will be joined by energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey in the first high-level trade mission to India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi was elected in May.

Mr Clegg will meet Prime Minister Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during the first day of his visit. He and the delegation will spend a day in New Delhi, a day in Mumbai and a day in Bangalore. Ed Davey, who will explore opportunities for UK companies and strengthen collaboration on energy and climate change will also travel separately to Hyderabad on Wednesday, making him the first British Minister to engage with the new state of Telangana created in June.

The delegation includes major British businesses from the retail, aerospace and education sectors, who will be signing deals and exploring new opportunities with their Indian counterparts. The Indian retail sector is expected to grow by 25pc a year over the next two years, and the delegation will be hoping to take advantage of an aerospace market which is expected to be among top three in the world over the next 10 years, with 7pc annual growth.

The Deputy Prime Minister said: “I am delighted to be leading the first trade delegation to India since the election of the new government. Prime Minister Modi has been very clear that his absolute priority is to get the wheels of the Indian economy moving, to create more jobs, boost trade and pursue greater prosperity.

“There is already £16bn of trade every year between India and the UK. India invests more in the UK than it does in the rest of the European Union combined, and no country in the G20 invests more in India than Britain does.

“In addition, there are the historic cultural links. The rich tapestry of British community, business, cultural and sporting life is hugely enriched by our links with India. Thousands of students take part in exchange programmes such as the UK-India Education and Research Initiative, and I look forward to seeing how we can forge even deeper and stronger bonds between our people.”

UKTI East Regional Director Thinley Topden said: “The latest statistics show the East of England continues to develop great business with this country, with exports up in the first quarter of 2014 at £75.2m, an increase of 7.6pc compared to the same quarter last year.

“This week’s visit will provide a great opportunity to showcase some of the best our country has to offer. But if you are interested in entering the Indian market or in developing existing export business, UKTI can help. We have a range of current business opportunities available to businesses now, and can also help you plan your export strategy thanks to our team of experts here in the East of England and on the ground in India.”

<t> UKTI is running a region-wide India master class in collaboration with the UK India Business Council on September 25 in Ipswich, and you can meet experts from both India and over 60 other overseas markets later in the year at its Explore Export event on November 11 in Newmarket. For details call 01707 398441 or email info@uktieast.org.uk.

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