Manchester’s enhanced focus on strengthening its commercial trade and investment with India has been supported by the Indian High Commissioner on a recent visit to the city.
Building on from the successful Manchester-India summit held last month, Manchester welcomed Mr. Ranjan Mathai and showcased the city as an international business destination.
Speaking about his visit, Mr Mathai said: “I am impressed by the depth and variety of Manchester’s connections with India. I believe there is great scope for expanding our collaborative endeavours in business, investment, education, media, skills and sports and advanced scientific R&D. I was very happy at the opportunity to spend time in this great city.”
The High Commissioner’s visit came after increased Indian engagement in the Greater Manchester region, following on from the Manchester-India summit, a two-day business event which attracted 139 influential business leaders from India and Manchester. Guests came from a range of industry sectors, including financial and professional services, creative, digital and media, life sciences, and ICT, with delegates including representatives from Air India, the State Bank of India, TATA, Bharat Forge and Tech Mahindra.
The event was organised by MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, and supported by UK Trade and Investment, UK India Business Council (UKIBC), Deloitte, BDP, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), VisitEngland, the Midland Hotel, The Lowry Art and Entertainment, and Street Cars.
Amongst the high profile agreements which resulted from the summit was a memorandum of understanding between Manchester Science Partnerships and EVA (Escape Velocity Accelerator). India-based EVA, which provides advice and funding to healthcare and life science start-ups, saw Manchester Science Partnerships’ world-class science and technology business park as the perfect fit.
The summit also played host to a representative from Vistaar productions, who have recently announced their decision to establish a post-production facility in MediaCityUK, Europe’s largest purpose-built media location, as part of a £13m investment in the UK. This agreement was formally announced by the British Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, on a visit to Mumbai last month.
Tim Newns, chief executive of MIDAS said: “It’s fantastic news for Manchester’s evolving India strategy that the business summit has proven such a success. With attention from senior ranking Indian officials and the forging of promising business connections, the event has opened a rich seam of opportunities for both Manchester and Indian businesses.”
“Manchester is a business destination of international appeal, recently ranked as number one UK city for growth outside of London. The city’s objective is now to ensure that Indian businesses are aware of the Manchester opportunity when deciding how to invest.”
Manchester and India are seen as perfect fit for future investment, with the region’s trade links with the country dating back to the Victorian era. Manchester’s Internationalisation Strategy has identified India as a critical market for the region for both the public and private sector in terms of inward investment, outbound export, education and tourism.
MIDAS is currently working with UKIBC to produce an in-depth report which identifies opportunities with India within these areas. The report will be published later this year.