UKIBC Roundtable with the Chief Minister of Gujarat

By Oliver Rice

The UK India Business Council organised a roundtable for UK businesses with Gujarat’s Chief Minister, Shri Vijay Rupani, on the 20th January at the fringes of Vibrant Gujarat 2019.

Accounting for over 22% of India’s exports, 17% of India’s industrial output, and 10% of India’s factories, Gujarat has one of the highest investment potentials of any State in India according to the National Council of Applied Economic Research. The State is now a leader in solar energy and the first Indian state to set up a department for climate change.

This makes Gujarat a key State in the UK-India relationship in terms of manufacturing and energy trade and investment.

Indeed, according to UK Officials, last year, the UK had targeted to export £16 million of products to Gujarat and in fact achieved £300 million. This year the UK is aiming to do £500 million worth of exports to Gujarat.

Arguably, these headline figures for UK-India trade in Gujarat systematically under-estimate the depth of bilateral relations. According to UKIBC COO, Kevin McCole, in DW News, as businesses don’t just sell into each other’s markets, they are setting up and producing domestically, which is still investment crucial for delivering jobs, innovation, and economic growth.

This is nowhere truer than in Gujarat, where such investment goes a long way with UK companies carrying out extensive production operations.

To facilitate this further, UKIBC Managing Director, Richard McCallum, brought our members round the table in an exclusive UKIBC interaction with the Chief Minister of Gujarat to discuss how to improve the operating environment for UK businesses to deliver in the State.

Gujarat is a key strategic partner for many of our members entering and expanding in India and UKIBC’s roundtable yielded positive discussions on energy continuity and ease of doing business for manufacturing in the State.

Following UKIBC’s MOU with the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), signed 13th January 2019, UKIBC is strengthening ties with key Indian States to provide unrivalled access to top officials for our members.

Our MOU with Maharashtra is the first in a series we will be signing in early 2019 with West Bengal next in early February, followed by Telangana, formalising our commitment to building a long-lasting and open dialogue between UK businesses and Indian States delivering for jobs, collaboration, an economic growth for both.

Our roundtable between the Chief Minister of Gujarat and our members is the first in what we hope will be exciting year for UK-Gujarat relations.

 


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