UK-India push for expanding tech tie-ups

Vidya Ram London | Updated on January 09, 2018

60 Indian firms taking part in Wednesday’s Birmingham meet

Around 60 Indian companies are set to gather in Birmingham on Wednesday as part of a British-India initiative to strengthen ties between the two countries’ tech sectors, as the UK pushes for new partnerships as it prepares to leave the European Union.

Around 100 delegates are visiting Britain’s largest commercial centres during November, including Manchester, Birmingham, Leicester, Coventry and London as part of an initiative by Britain’s Department for International Trade and supported by India, and business organisations.

It builds on moves to strengthen cooperation in the tech sector, pushed last year by both Britain and India when Prime Minster Theresa May attended the Tech summit in New Delhi. It also follows on a wider British initiative to encourage investors from non-EU countries to look beyond London, to other regions of the country.

“We see technology, which cares little for market access, as the key driver of our future prosperity partnership with India. Each one of the 100 companies on the six separate delegations will tell you exactly the same thing; across food and drink to smart cities, they are here to access the UK’s best technologies,” said Amo Kalar, Deputy Director of Trade at the British High Commission in India.

“We get out into the UK regions, matching India’s emerging competitive federalism with the UK’s devolved equities,” he said pointing to work that members of the delegation were already undertaking across the country.

He pointed in particular to potential cooperation between the two countries around India’s target of moving to all new electric cars by 2030 (Britain has set a target of 2040). Other areas being focused on include advanced manufacturing, life sciences, food and drink, smart cities and creative industries.

“The closer India works with the UK, the more opportunity we will develop and fulfill I want to see much more of this kind of collaboration,” he added.

“The fact the delegations have been so oversubscribed demonstrates the potential,” said Kalar. “It goes without saying that UK- India trade is getting stronger by the day within a tough global operating environment…Of course we all need to work harder, and India -UK future tech month is exactly how we propel trade into the future. But what a free trading post- Brexit UK wants is more sophisticated tech driven commercial partnerships with partners like India.”

Particularly in the wake of the Brexit referendum Britain and India have stepped up initiatives to boost business links in both directions: from an initiative to encourage India’s realty sector to invest beyond London, to the Indian High Commission’s Access India programme, launched in September, focused on encouraging small and medium sized businesses to invest in India by providing support, information and advice.

“The UK are looking for new markets for their technologies and we are looking for Make in India investments in India so we are working for the same purpose,” says Indian Deputy High Commissioner in London Dinesh Patnaik.

Published on November 07, 2017

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