The new partnership on smart cities forged between India and the UK could open up business worth GBP 2 billion for British businesses and help secure financing for such projects. Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade, UK, said the partnership agreed upon by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Theresa May on Monday was “another sign of the close integration” of the two economies.
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All of this could open up potential business for UK companies of up to 2 billion pounds and help secure financin initiatives for Smart City projects here in India utilising the expertise of the city of London,” Fox said while addressing the India-UK Tech Summit. Fox said that if handled sensibly, collaboration with India in smart cities provides a lot of opportunities for the UK in terms of trade with another maturing, developed economy
“Our ability to provide the seeds of knowledge that can deal with some of the problems that we are talking about today is not only good in the short term for our business and for the effect on the population of India, but also good for us as a trading partner in the longer term,” he said
“The new British government and the Department of International Trade that I head will be looking at this as priority because trade and development are a win-win where we can export the technologies and the knowledge base to help India be able to deal with the problems of demographics and also the opportunities that those represent.
Describing the United Kingdom as the “world leader in smart cities technology,” Fox said: “As the Anglo-Indi commercial alliance becomes ever more important and ever more vital, we must utilise that experience to achieve India’s technological and social ambitions.
He is of the view that the transformation of cities is key to addressing the challenges we face today like climat change, population growth and demographic change, among others
“It is essential that the world’s great cities adapt rapidly in order to survive and thrive over the coming decades,” Fox said, adding that smart technologies and solutions are becoming enablers of this transformation, helping address some of the challenges of rapid urbanisation by improving services and delivering high standard of living. Fox is here as part of a delegation led by British Prime Minister Theresa May, who is on her first overseas trip as the UK Prime Minister. Her assessment is India’s rapidly growing economy could provide it with trade opportunities as it prepares to leave the European Union
Talking about Modi’s vision of smart cities, May had said they had agreed on a new partnership that will bring together governments, investors and experts to work together on urban development, unlocking opportunities worth GBP 2 billion for British businesses over the next five years.