India is an attractive proposition for UK businesses looking for alternatives to China, in the view of the prevailing global sentiment and according to the UK-India Business Council (UKIBC).
UKIBC’s first India Group CEO Jayant Krishna expects to see growth in UK-India trade as both countries come out of the COVID-19 crisis, and is asserting that UK businesses are very keen to support India's 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' mission (Self-reliant India).
The UK and India have started looking at opportunities emanating from the business sentiment prevailings around the world, “exploring manufacturing supply chain possibilities as alternatives to China”, according to Krishna.
In the current pandemic, both countries are working closer than ever, both Governments are working together on generic exports, PPE, and other medical aids. UK company, AstraZeneca and Pune-based-Serum Institute are collaborating on the most promising COVID-19 vaccine.
With the UK now out of the EU, a result welcomed by Indian businesses operating in the country, as well as the British businesses who see this as an exciting time to expand in the huge Indian market, there is no question that India will be a vital trading partner as the UK charts a new future outside the EU. The golden opportunities for British firms in India play to the best strengths of UK plcs from Infrastructure to Healthcare to FinTech. India is open to engaging with the UK for a preferential trade agreement, with the ultimate goal of a free trade agreement between the countries.
The work has been underway to reduce barriers to trade since both countries completed a joint trade review and, according to industry estimates, progress to date could deliver a £250 million annual boost for British business.
India and the UK agreed to work towards removing additional barriers on British exports of apples and pears to India and supporting legal professionals looking to work in each country.
Trade between the UK and India was worth £24 billion last year, and India is now the second largest investor in the UK economy.
Both countries are trying to strengthen their collaboration as a global force on the ‘hot topics’ of climate and green recovery.