The Consulate General of India (CGI), Birmingham in association with the University of Manchester organised a Business Seminar at the Manchester Innovation Centre on November 10, 2017. This was part of a week-long series of Business Seminars hosted by the Indian Consulate from November 6-10, 2017 to promote "Make in India" and the "Access India Programme, developed by the High Commission of India (HCI), London recently to hand- hold and mentor prospective British SME's desirous of doing business in India. Prominent members of the business community, senior managers / representative of companies from a wide array of sectors, academics and students attended the event.
Welcoming the participants, Consul General of India, Dr. Aman Puri spoke about the Make in India event at Innovate 2017, and the positive feedback received from various Business organisations about this initiative launched in partnership of High Commission of India, London, Consulate General of India- Birmingham with Department of International Trade to synergise the efforts in ensuring that the common objective of supporting and facilitating two way trade and investment between India and UK is met. During his address, he highlighted that the British economy is strong in high value and manufacturing sectors such as automotive, aerospace, energy, transport and process industry.
Mr. Vivek Abraham, Assistant Vice- President, Invest India, through his presentation stressed that India is emerging as the fastest growing economy, and the largest GDP countries in the world. The investors from across the globe are endorsing India in the past 3 or 4 years.
Professor Nalin Thakker, Associate Vice-President at The University of Manchester shared his views on historical linkage of the city of Manchester with India and significance of Manchester in the Industrial revolution. He added that the city of Manchester is the birth place of many inventions and also highlighted the part played by India during the Industrial Revolution.
Acting High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom, Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik in his address mentioned about the interdependence between the countries, whether they are developed countries or developing countries. Mr. Patnaik highlighted the importance of countries investing in other countries. He also mentioned that it is very important to see how the world is structured presently. He spoke about political consensus, Demonetisation, Brexit and the reduced number of students from India coming to UK to study. Mr. Bharat Joshi, British Deputy High Commissioner, Chennai in his address spoke about the number of Indian students to the United Kingdom, and about the British companies that are successful in India, and encouraging other investors to access India. He stressed how UK looks at this relationship as a crucial partnership, becoming even more important in the future.
This was followed by a detailed presentation by Ms. Kiran Khatri, Second Secretary, High Commission of India, London which focused on highlighting the investment opportunities in India, and the 'Access India and 'Make in India' programmes. She mentioned about the 25 sectors that the Government of India has identified for the investors as focus sectors. Showcasing the huge opportunities that India has to offer to the world in terms of investment and trade, she encouraged British SME's to explore these avenues.
Ms. Rita Hunt, Consultant, Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), UK shared her experience of working with CII, UK. CII which is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry-led and industry-managed organization is playing a proactive role in supporting India's trade and investment relationship with other countries. Ms. Hunt, encouraged and supported companies to come forward and invest in India as the economy offers a vast number of opportunities. She offered all the help from CII, and mentioned that these supporting mechanisms are available to interested companies free of cost.
Attendees of the Seminar shared their experiences and sought further insights during the Q&A session which was responded to by panellists Mr Vivek Abraham, Ms. Kiran Khatri, Mr. Bharat Joshi and Ms. Rita Hunt who answered a wide array of questions ranging from the issue of provisions for protection of intellectual property rights of SME's, to initiatives of Government of India for promoting medical tourism and Ayurveda in Britain. The event was well attended and generated significant enthusiasm amongst participants about the initiative.