The United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox, is visiting New Delhi and Mumbai from 28 to 30 August. This is the Secretary of State’s first visit to India in his current role. The visit aims to boost UK-India bilateral commercial ties and highlights the importance of India as a key strategic partner across trade, investment and defence.
In New Delhi, Dr. Fox met Indian Minister for Finance Mr Arun Jaitley and discussed furthering economic cooperation with India. He met Minister for Commerce Ms Nirmala Sitharaman. They spoke at length about forging deeper trade and investment arrangements between the two countries. Dr Fox announced his participation and the UK’s commitment to the Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) to be held on 7 November alongside the ‘India-UK TECH Summit’.
Dr. Fox met the President of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Mr. Naushad Forbes and explored the potential to further improve UK-India business relationships during JETCO and the ‘India UK TECH Summit’. The UK is the country partner for the Summit in partnership with CII, as announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his highly successful visit to the UK last year.
The TECH Summit will demonstrate the depth of India-UK partnerships in business, innovation, research, education and entrepreneurship, with the biggest showcase of British expertise and commitment to strengthening relationships in every sphere. It will also host a major delegation from the UK, highlighting the UK’s capabilities across important sectors like smart cities, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, agri-tech, education and skills.
While addressing a gathering of senior CII members Dr Fox said: “The UK-India partnership lies at the very heart of the strategic relationship between our two nations, a relationship that has never been more important than it is today.”
“The India-UK Tech Summit in November will be a further celebration of this partnership, where sector experts ranging from smart cities, healthcare, agri-tech and others will come together to boost trade, R&D as well as academic ties between the UK and India.”
CII President Mr Forbes said: “Technical capability is the source of prosperity for business. The India-UK Tech Summit promises to be a platform which will unleash new possibilities and add new dimensions to our long relationship.”
Chandrajit Banerjee, DG, CII added : “CII is happy to be a part of this important bilateral initiative which began with Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK last year. I hope Indian industry will take maximum advantage of the presence of a large number of British companies in India on this occasion and go all out to forge new partnerships.”
Dr. Fox also met major Indian companies in the Information Technology sector including HCL and Tech Mahindra. The UK is the investment destination of choice for Indian ICT companies, and the Secretary of State discussed future investment opportunities in the UK. He also met senior Indian business leaders.
In Mumbai, he will meet with top Indian businessmen including Ajay Piramal, as well as Indian financial technology entrepreneurs. Dr Fox will give a speech about the UK’s place in the global economy post EU Referendum to a large audience of Mumbai’s business community among other key engagements in the financial capital.
This is the fourth visit by a British Minister to India since Theresa May took over as the Prime Minister of the country. Earlier this month British Secretary of State for Business and Energy Greg Clark and Secretary of State for International Development, Ms. Priti Patel visited India.