India, Britain trade may double by 2030

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Through primary research, the report identifies 618 UK companies in India and how they are growing and contributing to the economy and job creation…reports Asian Lite News

Bilateral trade between India and the United Kingdom (UK) is likely to double by 2030 from the current level helped by greater economic engagements between the two countries, diversification of global supply chains, and overall ease of doing business, as per an industry report released on Thursday.

As India and the UK collaborate for economic growth against a backdrop of global disruptions, Grant Thornton Bharat launched the second edition of the Britain Meets India (BMI) Report 2022, in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), supported by the UK’s Department of International Trade (DIT).

Through primary research, the report identifies 618 UK companies in India and how they are growing and contributing to the economy and job creation.

According to the report, 618 UK companies have been identified in India that together employ approximately 4.66 lakh people and have a combined turnover of ₹ 3,634.9 billion. 58 of these 618 companies featured in the report’s Growth Tracker (companies with turnover greater than ₹ 500 million and 10 per cent year-on-year growth) – these fast-growing UK companies achieved an average growth of 36.3 per cent, which is a 10 per cent jump from 2021 where fast-growing UK companies clocked an average growth rate of 26 per cent.

The report was launched by Alex Ellis CMG, High Commissioner of UK to India, Chandrajit Banerjee, DG – CII, Vishesh C Chandiok, CEO, Grant Thornton Bharat and Pallavi Joshi Bakhru, Partner and India-UK Corridor Leader, Grant Thornton Bharat in New Delhi in the presence of over 50 dignitaries, industry and government representatives from the UK and India.

Speaking at the event, Alexander Ellis CMG said “India has been one of the UK’s most important partners in the journey of 75 years. The ‘living bridge’ between our countries is set to transform into a stronger bond as we continue to fight the pandemic together and address the challenges to our security in both the physical and digital worlds. Our shared focus will be on strengthening the economic relationship between the two nations for a more secure and prosperous decade ahead.”

“The report has highlighted several new emerging sectors and I hope we will derive qualitative outcomes that nurture opportunities for companies in India and the UK. We continue to work closely with the governments and businesses on both sides and leverage the strengths of UK companies to deepen our trade relationship,” said CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee.

“Trade between India and the UK is expected to double by 2030 from current levels – based on dynamic connections between people of both countries, investment in technology, diversification of global supply chains and overall ease of doing business,” said Vishesh C Chandiok, CEO, Grant Thornton Bharat.

“Grant Thornton firms in India and the UK have been helping companies in the corridor grow and expand for over three decades – we are now at a juncture where we have an opportunity for real change in the narrative. India can not only provide a growth platform for UK companies but can also help them become more competitive globally,” Chandiok said.

Push to finalise free trade pact by Diwali

India and the UK are intent on sticking to a Diwali deadline for finalising a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) amid the ongoing political developments in Britain, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Despite some questions raised by the leadership race in Britain’s ruling Conservative Party, the people made it clear both sides aim to have a deal stitched up and ready for signing by the leadership of the two countries by the last week of October. The UK is expected to have a new prime minister next month, giving enough time for the deal to be cleared on the British side.

“The two partners are targeting to conclude negotiations by the end of August or early September. After approvals of the respective governments, the agreement on most of tariff lines will be ready to be signed,” an Indian official said, declining to be named.

“Both the UK and India have been clear that we are working towards a comprehensive free trade agreement – neither nation is considering an interim agreement,” a person familiar with the negotiations said on condition of anonymity.

A spokesperson for the British high commission said: “We are making good progress toward our shared target to conclude the majority of talks on a comprehensive deal by Diwali. We remain clear that we won’t sacrifice quality for speed and will only sign a deal which delivers for the UK.”

An FTA with India “offers the opportunity to deepen our already strong relationship, which was worth £24.3 billion in 2021”, the spokesperson said.

The Indian official cited above said: “The political developments in the UK are unlikely to derail the talks.” On July 21, commerce secretary BVR Subrahmanyam said that irrespective of the party in power in the UK, the “logic of an FTA with India is irreversible”.

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