North East firms offered chance to build business in India

UKTI and the North East Chamber of Commerce are spearheading a market visit to India in October with the aim to identify export opportunities

Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, center, walks barefoot as he is shown around during his visit at the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara or Sikh temple in New Delhi, India, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. Clegg is on a three-day visit to India to strengthen bilateral economic ties.
Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, center, walks barefoot as he is shown around during his visit at the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara or Sikh temple in New Delhi, India, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. Clegg is on a three-day visit to India to strengthen bilateral economic ties.

North East firms are encouraged to take advantage of a market visit to India this October.

Organised by UK Trade and Investment and the North East Chamber of Commerce, the visit will take delegates to Bangalore and New Delhi, important regional capitals with the aim to build relationships and identify export opportunities.

David Coppock, UKTI North East’s regional director, explained: “Exports from the North East to India now stand at more than £47.1m, 15% up on the previous year’s total and it’s predicted by the World Bank that India will grow by more than 6% in the next two years and 7% in 2016.

“India has opportunities in all sectors as it expands and develops.

“It’s a price sensitive market, but there’s a natural fit between the UK and Indian economies. And the visit by the Deputy Prime Minister this week will help pave the way for future business relationships between the two countries in the future.

“Companies unfamiliar with India might regard Mumbai as the obvious major commercial centre to visit first, but they should not ignore other regional capitals such as Bangalore and New Delhi, where the opportunities are considerable.

“Bangalore is widely referred to as the Silicon Valley of India because of the number of software and IT companies while many life science companies are there and there are tremendous opportunities in the state’s health sector.

“In New Delhi, we will be focussing on three key business events including the Global SME Summit, giving delegates ample opportunity to network, meet potential customers and partners.”

The call for North East firms to take part in the India visit coincides with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s three-day visit to the country with a 40-strong delegation.

He will be joined by Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, on the first high-level trade mission to India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi was elected in May.

Mr Clegg will meet Prime Minister Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during the first day of his visit on Monday. He and the delegation will spend a day in New Delhi, a day in Mumbai and a day in Bangalore.

Ed Davey will also travel separately to Hyderabad on Wednesday, making him the first British Minister to engage with the new state of Telangana created in June.

The delegation includes major British businesses from the retail, aerospace and education sectors, who will be signing deals and exploring new opportunities with their Indian counterparts.

The Indian retail sector is expected to grow by 25% a year over the next two years, and the delegation will be hoping to take advantage of an aerospace market which is expected to be among top three in the world over the next ten years, with 7% annual growth.

Lord Dholakia will also be joining the business delegation in a new role as the Deputy Prime Minister’s India Business Adviser. In this unpaid role, he will have responsibility for supporting the business leaders travelling in the delegation and helping them to achieve their commercial objectives for the visit. He will ensure that new deals and business links are followed through to a successful outcome once the visit is over.

To register for the upcoming Access India Market Visit email gemma.bainbridge@necc.co.uk.

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