British finance minister to lead trade delegation to India next week

The UK Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty last week.

The Dollar Business Bureau

Britain has constantly indicated a better economic integration with India - now the world’s sixth-largest economy after it overtook Britain last year - post-Brexit. In a fresh attempt to strengthen economic and trade ties with New Delhi, British Finance Minister Philip Hammond will lead a trade mission to New Delhi next week.

The trade meeting themed on ‘Make in India, Finance in the UK’ will see British finance minister pitching UK’s attractive trade market, while seeking Indian investments in the UK.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Hammond, along with Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney and UK government ministers, including Commercial Secretary Baroness Neville-Rolfe and International Trade minister Mark Garnier will visit New Delhi and Mumbai to participate in economic and trade conferences. The delegation also includes some of UK’s most experienced FinTech entrepreneurs and leaders in financial services.

“I’m delighted to be leading such a heavyweight delegation to India to bang the drum for British business. I am determined to create a truly Global Britain, reaching out and promoting the best of what we have to offer,” Hammond said in a statement.

“UK is perfectly placed to be India’s financial partner of choice, helping it to raise the finance needed for its continued rapid growth and my message will be ‘Make in India, Finance in the UK’. Our innovative markets have helped support the development of whole new product classes such as masala bonds that will support India’s transformation,” Hammond noted.

British Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty last week. As Britain initiates formal negotiations with the European leaders, it is simultaneously focusing on revitalizing its links with friends and allies, opening up new opportunities and new markets for British businesses.

“As we leave the EU and embark on an exciting new phase of our economic history, looking to boost our trade and investment beyond the borders of Europe and strengthening our relationships with the world’s most vibrant economies is more important than ever,” the Conservative party minister added.

During the visit, the UK minister is set to focus on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ vision, which is envisaged to fundamentally transform the country’s manufacturing capabilities. He is expected to pitch UK’s financial industry to help India achieve its manufacturing goals.

India’s ambitious growth aspirations will be supplemented by an adequate financial infrastructure. As the Indian government looks to tap into global investors to meet its over $1.5 trillion of capital in infrastructure investment, UK is expected to play a pivotal role.

“UK and the City of London are therefore perfectly placed to be India’s partner of choice to raise the finance it needs to deliver on its plans,” the Chancellor is likely to convey during the visit.

Hammond noted that India’s financial sector is undergoing a significant transformation, with new payment firms, small finance banks and insurance players entering the field. India’s shifting focus from a cash-based economy to cashless economy is set to help the country realise its Digital India dreams. “This shift presents enormous opportunities for the UK to work much more closely with India’s own exciting Fintech sector.”

The Dollar Business Bureau - Apr 03, 2017 12:00 IST