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UK Trade Minister visits India

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Baroness Rona Fairhead with Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox
Baroness Rona Fairhead with Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox

Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, Baroness Rona Fairhead, is today (Monday 5th February) travelling to India to launch the very first India-UK Createch Summit in the country’s tech capital, Mumbai.

The event is the pinnacle of a series of trade missions from the UK to India which have seen more than 100 British companies from across sectors such as automotive, healthcare and film visiting the country during January and February, showcasing what they have to offer and forging important new trading ties.

Baroness Fairhead will join HRH The Earl of Wessex to launch the event, which will bring together almost 1000 leading figures from across business and government to celebrate innovation such as augmented reality and creative robotics that are uniting the creative and technology industries. Mumbai is considered the creative capital of India and Ministers believe that increased engagement with UK businesses will provide booming trading links in the creative industries.

The UK’s creative industries have long been renowned for innovation in recent years, and tech businesses received more than twice the level of investment than their competitors in any other European country in 2012-16. Createch has great potential to further that reputation as well as boosting economic growth and job creation.

The UK and India enjoy strong trading links – latest statistics show that bilateral trade increased by 13.6% in the year to September 2017 compared to the previous year, with travel services and machinery the top service and good exports respectively.

While in Mumbai the Minister will also help launch the new VisitBritain campaign alongside CEO Sally Balcombe. The campaign is aiming to further boost tourism between the two countries, which saw the number of visits from India to the UK reach record levels in the first 9 months of 2017.

There were a record 436,000 visits from India to the UK from January to September 2017, up 32% compared to the same period in 2016. Visitors from India spent a record £355 million in the UK from January to September 2017, up 7% compared to the same period in 2016).

Baroness Fairhead, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, said:

 “The UK is a world leader in the creative and technology industries, and it is inspiring to see the connections between UK and Indian companies, especially in so vibrant a creative hub as Mumbai.

 “The opportunities for growth are plenty, and as an international economic department we will continue to use trade missions not only to boost UK exports, but also to help businesses of all sizes forge ties and build relationships with potential buyers and investors.”

Visit Britain CEO, Sally Balcombe, said:

 “India is a fast-growing outbound visitor market and extremely important for VisitBritain. Our campaign I Travel For aims to build on the strong growth we have seen in visits from India, showcasing that Britain is bursting with fun activities and adventure, exciting and contemporary culture and highlighting less-explored destinations.

“By promoting wonderfully unexpected experiences, alongside our globally renowned and iconic cultural landmarks and attractions, we want to inspire even more visitors from India to book a trip to Britain right now.”

Baroness Fairhead will also present the annual DIT Tech Rocketship Awards which were established four years ago to connect the brightest of India’s tech start-ups/scale-ups to both UK and Indian investors, encouraging them to internationalise their businesses via the UK.

The Minister will also visit Bengaluru whilst in India, meeting with a series of potential investors and future export partners such as Bengaluru International Airport and Technicolor.