I write to you having been asked by the CEO of Standard Chartered to participate in a panel this week on UK international trade and specifically what more can be done for closer ties between the UK and India. Here are some points I wanted to share with you:
The annual 'India Meets Britain Tracker' finds that the number of Indian companies doing business in Britain has increased from 800 in 2018 to 842 in 2019, with a combined turnover of 48 billion pounds.
The report, published by business advisory firm Grant Thornton UK LLP and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), revealed a more than doubling of the Corporation Tax paid by these companies to hit 684 million pounds, up from 360 million pounds.
When the PMs of both countries met in 2018, they focused on technology to solve some of the greatest challenges they face – and these were emphasized: “Artificial Intelligence (AI); the digital economy; health technologies; cyber security; and promoting clean growth, smart urbanisation and future mobility.”
I personally have been involved in several of the initiatives announced by the two PMs including the UK Fintech Rocketship Awards which promotes Indian tech companies in Finance to establish in the UK.
Regarding Brexit, both Governments have said, ‘We will also ensure continued application to the UK of EU-India Agreements during the Implementation Period following the UK’s departure from the EU, and put in place arrangements to replicate relevant EU-India agreements beyond this period.’
The UK has been the largest G20 investor in India over the last ten years and India has the fourth largest number of investment projects in the UK.
The Environment is in focus - The Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF) created by both governments will help accelerate achieving India’s target of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and also invest in other related sectors such as clean transportation, water and waste management.
The United Kingdom welcomed the pro-active steps taken by India in establishing the International Solar Alliance (ISA). The leaders noted the successful holding of the joint event between the ISA and London Stock Exchange (LSE) and will rely on LSE to raising funding to meet India’s solar targets.
The United Kingdom has strengthened its investments in India to become the largest single western investor, while British companies have created over 422,000 jobs in India since the turn of the century, according to the CBI.
Said Deputy High Commissioner, Crispin Simon, “They (British companies) Make in India, with over a third of the 400-plus companies here operating in the manufacturing sector. They bring new technologies to India, with 62% of surveyed companies bringing new technologies to market here.”
Over half of British firms in India (56%) are in the services sector, and over a third (36%) are in the manufacturing sector. The chemicals sector has received the lion’s share of British investment in India since 2000 at $12 billion, followed by drugs and pharmaceuticals at $8.8 billion and services at $7 billion.
In the year ended December 2018, over 55,000 tier 2 (general) work visas were granted to Indian nationals, more than the rest of the world combined. In June 2018, the UK also removed doctors and nurses from the tier 2 cap due to the demand from the national health service (NHS), which accounts for around 40% of all tier 2 places.
Again, what of Brexit? Indian investors continued to operate confidently in the UK—in fact, a record 842 of them by April 2019. Over the past year, these firms paid over £684 million (Rs6,155 crore) in taxes and employed nearly 105,000 people.
Only 10% of GB businesses export anywhere in the world however – and that statistic shocked me the most.
If you want to see some of my work to use technology to solve some of the world’s biggest problems, see www.tech2great.com