Richard Heald, CEO – Opening remarks at the JETCO plenary session

By Richard Heald

UK India Business Council CEO, Richard Heald opening remarks at The Joint Economic and Trade Committee plenary session, Thursday 11 January 2018.

“JETCO is an annual Ministerial bilateral meeting which takes place between the UK Department for International Trade and the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It allows the two cabinet Ministers to discuss bilateral trade and economic issues and for UK and Indian businesses to interact and discuss key trade, FDI and ODI related issues.

I am delighted to welcome our two Ministers, Secretary of State Dr Liam Fox MP and Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Shri Suresh Prabu who will address us on their earlier bilateral.

I would also like to welcome his Excellency, Mr Y.K. Sinha, the Indian High Commissioner, the CII Delegation as well as the delegations of officials who are accompanying both Ministers today.

Your discussions Minsters come at a particular important time and I for one look forward to your comments.

We are all aware of the strengthen of our economic relations as measured in FDI flows but the relationship feels stronger and if we look at the multiplicity of interactions through the prism of holistic view of trade it seems much broader than perhaps we generally realise.

And I believe this partnership, undoubtedly, is made more relevant in an increasingly digital world.

India is developing a “digital first” economy. The incredible roll-out of Aadhar, smart phone and mobile usage, increasing financial inclusion, and the way GST has taken almost all transactions online gives India a fantastically powerful digital knowledge capability.

The UK and India are natural partners in this area …. And the beauty of this partnership is there is much that the UK can learn from India. And much that the UK can contribute.

Indeed, UK and India are already establishing collaborations, as evidenced recently by the Rolls Royce – TCS collaboration on digital manufacturing. Make in India and Digital India merging.”

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