UKIBC Interaction with UK Minister for Investment and Indian Investors in the UK

By Emma Lynch

On 29 October 2020, the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) hosted a roundtable with the UK Minister for Investment, Lord Grimstone of Boscobel Kt.

Our Group CEO, Jayant Krishna, hosted the session, which comprised a select group of senior Indian investors in the UK, HMG’s Trade Commissioner for South Asia, Alan Gemmell, and Laura Demetris, who leads the Department for International Trade’s engagement with Indian investors. Indian industry was represented by Anand Mahindra, Sunil Kant Munjal, Ajay Piramal, Prashant Ruia, Sanjiv Goenka, R Dinesh, Sunil D’Souza, Tim Jones, Amit Kapur, Anupam Thareja and Venkat Nageswar.

The discussions were wide-ranging, with participants sharing their insights on the current operating environment in the UK as well as their immediate business landscape and long-term goals for investment into the UK.

Despite the pandemic induced economic and social challenges being faced across the world, there has been a positivity in the approach of both UK and Indian Governments. There was an Economic and Financial Dialogue on 28 October 2020 and a successful Joint Economic and Trade Committee meeting in July 2020, with a further trade meeting on 9 November. Both Governments have announced an Enhanced Trade Partnership, which could lead to a potential future Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the UK and India.

Participants also noted how the pandemic has positively impacted the adoption of digital technology and has led to a greater awakening of social consciousness with green and low carbon investments becoming top priorities. Given existing strengths and complementarities, there are perhaps obvious areas in which the UK and India can collaborate and grow their already strong trade and investment relationship.

Several other issues relating to the UK-India economic corridor were discussed amidst a very friendly but engaging mood. Lord Grimstone proposed that such a roundtable should become a regular feature which was welcomed by the Indian industry leaders.

The UKIBC was delighted to have hosted and facilitated this roundtable for Lord Grimstone and the leading investors, many of which are UKIBC members and clients. UKIBC looks forward with great enthusiasm to creating more such opportunities for the UK Government to interact with leading Indian businesses.

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