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Business Secretary takes trade delegation to India's growing regional cities

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Vince Cable takes a delegation of 25 British companies to India's growing regional cities on a 4 day trade visit.

Business Secretary Vince Cable begins a 4 day trade visit to India today (9 December 2013), taking a delegation of 25 British companies to India’s growing regional cities.

The visit begins today in New Delhi where Dr Cable will co-chair the annual UK-India trade and economic committee with the Indian Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Anand Sharma. Plans to develop business opportunities and strengthen existing partnerships over the coming year to progress advanced engineering, education and skills and innovation through business will be the focus of the talks.

Dr Cable and the business delegation will then visit Coimbatore (Tuesday 10 December 2013), Chennai (Wednesday 11 December 2013) and Bangalore (Thursday 12 December 2013) - each fast growing regional cities with considerable growth potential for UK companies. It will be the minister’s first visit to Coimbatore, which is 1 of the fast growing smaller cities in India.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

Economic recovery remains a central priority for the UK and our industrial strategy is a key element in giving businesses the confidence to invest. Trade has lagged in recent years but I am delighted that UK exports to India have grown by some 20% this year.

UK firms are the largest European investors in India and there is more Indian investment in the UK than the rest of the EU combined, led by Tata.

We have always had a special relationship between our countries and I am keen to push business collaboration much further as we work towards doubling trade with India by 2015.

During the visit Dr Cable will sign a new £180 million repayment guarantee deal underwritten by UK Export Finance (UKEF) and coordinated by HSBC which will support Indian company Reliance Industries Limited to place up to 30 service and equipment contracts with UK companies for their Jamnagar and Dahej oil refineries.

A number of other agreements will be announced during the visit:

  • a joint platform to support business by the UK India Business Council and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to help UK small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) access pre-approved service providers
  • Indian-based online and mobile search service Zomato intends to invest a further $1 million in Scotland over the next year, set up teams across key UK cities and make the UK the headquarters of its European operations Newcastle, Leeds and Bristol are amongst the cities being looked into. Zomato also has 25 employees in the UK and expects to increase this to 150 in next 18 months
  • The Technical Welding Institute, a Cambridge-based engineering firm, is opening new training facilities in Mumbai, Trichy and Cochin
  • Indian company Dynamatics Technologies have a UK plant that has won recent orders worth $250m over 5 years, creating up to 10 new jobs in the UK.
  • Jubilant Biosys and Metaome Science Informatics Ltd UK has won a competition launched by the Science & Innovation Network in September, to find Bangalore’s most innovative biotech or medtech company looking to expand internationally. The winners will get a 2 week visit to Cambridge to explore the opportunity to set up there

The visit follows the announcement in Thursday’s Autumn Statement that UKTI’s presence in India will be increased by investing £6 million in the next financial year. This will enhance the level of support for UK companies in India, and strengthen the proposition for Indian companies to invest in the UK.

In Chennai Dr Cable will inaugurate the GREAT British Festival which showcases UK companies in India and he will take part in an interactive session with young entrepreneurs at the PSG STEP entrepreneurial park.

Mr Cable will also visit G Kuppuswamy Naidu Memorial Hospital to explore health partnerships and promote SME links by participating in a video-conference between UK and Indian SMEs during his visit to Tata Consultancy Services.

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