India-UK CEO Forum press release

By UK India Business Council (UKIBC) |

Members of the India-UK CEO Forum met on 7 November 2016 in New Delhi, following the opening addresses made by Rt Hon Theresa May, Prime Minister of the UK and Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India at the India-UK TECH Summit

The Forum agrees with Prime Minister Modi’s assessment that the UK-India relationship currently stands at an inflexion point, which offers great opportunities, in which the Forum believes it could play a leading role.

Highlighting the achievements of the Forum’s working groups, three reports were launched at the meeting: Smart Cities and the Digital Economy; Financial Inclusion, and Responsible Shareholder Engagement. Looking forward, the Forum agreed to develop activities in the existing work streams in 2017. The Forum agreed to:

  • Promote the creation of a UK-India Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technology Centre;
  • Submit a paper recommending ease of doing business measures that will facilitate greater UK manufacturing engagement with India
  • Facilitate collaboration between UK and Indian start-ups by linking incubators at Indian higher education institutions with incubators in the UK.
  • Work in a number of healthcare-related areas, including Swachh Bharat, medical training, and pharmaceuticals.

New initiatives were also considered, including in renewable energy, hospitality and tourism, and regulatory capacity building.

Today was the first meeting of the India-UK CEO Forum since the UK voted to exit the EU. The Forum agreed that this presents an opportunity to build a new, stronger trade and investment relationship, and agreed to work with both governments by preparing a forward-looking paper setting out the main opportunities, the barriers to realising them, and recommendations on how to remove those barriers.

The Indian co-Chair, Ajay Piramal, Chairman, Piramal Enterprises Ltd. said, “The India-UK CEO Forum has played a vital role in advising the Prime Ministers and sharing the industry’s input in the development of both the economies. It is expected that going forward it will play a meaningful role in shaping the bilateral economic agenda in a way which will be both, result-oriented and sustained.”

The UK co-Chair of the Forum, Sir Gerry Grimstone, Chairman of Standard Life plc and Deputy Chair of Barclays Bank said “We’ve had an excellent meeting today. It was clear from everyone in the room that although Brexit may bring challenges, there is certainly a significant opportunity for India and the UK to develop an even deeper partnership. And an opportunity to show that businesses are a force for good in society – big businesses supporting small businesses, and contributing to the important tasks of job creation, skilling, health and hygiene, digitally and financially including all of India in its rising prosperity.”


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