UKIBC signs an MoU with the Government of West Bengal at the 2019 Bengal Global Business Summit

By UK India Business Council (UKIBC)

The UK India Business Council is pleased to have signed an MoU with the Government of West Bengal at the Bengal Global Business Summit 2019 formalising our shared commitment to deliver UK business, investment, and economic growth in West Bengal.

West Bengal is more than simply the fourth largest State economy in India, for many UK businesses it is increasingly a core place to do business. UK companies employ nearly 30,000 people in Kolkata alone, representing 11% of all those employed by British companies operating in India. This is only growing.

Thanks to focused ease of doing business reforms including a single window system for business, the digitalisation of government services, and the simplification of bureaucratic processes, West Bengal has secured significantly higher economic growth than the Indian average.

The effects of reform are already being noticed by leading UK businesses. According to UKIBC’s ‘Doing Business in India 2018 Report: The UK Perspective’, 25% of UK businesses intending to enter and expand into India in the next 12 months are looking towards Eastern States such as West Bengal.

The opportunities in West Bengal come not just through its direct consumer base of over 91 million but also its strategic location as a gateway to North East India and ASEAN countries, prompting immense trade infrastructure development plans in the years to come.

This is why the UK India Business Council is delighted to be signing an MoU with the Government of West Bengal which will step up our commitment to working together to facilitate trade and investment through collaboration, sharing information, promoting ease of doing business, and smoothing investor interactions.

The MOU was signed by the UKIBC Group Chief Executive, Richard Heald, and West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation Managing Director, Smt. Vandana Yadav during the fifth Bengal Global Business Summit attracting thousands of delegates from across the world.

UK Deputy High Commissioner in Kolkata, Bruce Bucknell said:

In signing an MoU, I am delighted that UKIBC has recognised the growth potential in the East and North East of India.  Bengal means business. So does Britain.

The UK is an official partner of the Summit and this year brought its biggest ever delegation showcasing UK businesses ready interest to invest and grow in West Bengal.

Richard Heald participated in a dedicated UK Summit panel session following the signing, saying that:

West Bengal is increasingly turning heads for UK businesses looking towards India and this pays testament to the enormous efforts taken by the Government of West Bengal towards meaningful ease of doing business reform in recent years. This is why the UK India Business Council are delighted to have signed an MOU with the Government of West Bengal to further deepen our working relationship and deliver on the State’s evident investment and growth potential.”

Today’s MoU is the second UKIBC has signed with strategic Indian States following the signing on an MoU with the Government of Maharashtra in January 2019. As strategic shifts and ‘competitive federalism’ develops, the UKIBC is at the forefront of improving the business environment across key States for UK businesses looking to grow, invest, and create jobs in India.


Notes to Editors:

About the UKIBC

The UK India Business Council (UKIBC) is the premier membership-led organisation supporting the promotion of trade, business and investment between the two countries. UKIBC plays an influential role in creating and sustaining an environment in which free-trade and investment flourishes. Through its insights, networks, policy advocacy, services and facilities, the UK India Business Council supports UK businesses to achieve success. Find out more by visiting and following @UKIBC on Twitter.

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