UKIBC’S 5th Annual Doing Business in India Report: The UK Perspective

This report marks the fifth annual ‘Doing Business in India’ Report by the UK India Business Council (UKIBC). Building on our previous reports, we asked UK companies and higher education institutions operating in India about India’s business environment, why they want to do business in India, the challenges they have faced, and their priorities for the future, with the aim of uncovering the existing ease of doing business in India and shaping its progression.

The findings produced in this report are derived from extensive consultation involving 133 UK businesses and higher education institutions in a series of roundtable discussions and a UKIBC survey run from September 23rd to October 15th, 2019.

In the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) rankings, India has made extraordinary progress in recent years, progressing from 130th globally in 2016 to 63rd in 2019. The Government of India has rightly set the goal of reaching the top 50 next year and the top 25 by 2024. So, while India has experienced great success, this report uncovers how quantitative achievement has translated in reality and what must be done in the future if India is to become a top 25 EoDB nation.

For this year’s edition, UKIBC has included a section on five Indian states to show the developments taking place at the state-level to facilitate business.

The results of our survey suggest that India’s business environment continues to improve. This is positive news for the Indian government and domestic businesses who have actively set out to improve the country’s business environment. For UK companies and higher education institutions this presents a welcome development, expanding the scope for UK-India collaboration, trade and investment.

This report concludes with a number of recommendations and reform priorities grounded in the results from our survey and roundtable discussions. Should the Government of India take these recommendations on board, its aim to make India a global top 25 EoDB nation could be realised in the near future. This, in connection with the huge opportunity that the Indian market presents, should see even greater UK trade and investment in India, both from companies and higher education institutions who are already active in India and prospective investors.

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