India, UK sign trade deals worth £9 billion, seek more economic ties

UK will partner India in its ‘Smart India’ mission and will jointly develop three cities through technical assistance and business engagement

The Dollar Business Bureau

India, in the last one year, has taken a slew of initiatives to remove its domestic bottlenecks and ease its regulatory policies. Earlier this week, the government eased FDI rule in 15 key sectors, including insurance, to attract greater foreign investments in India. The move has already started to show results as UK’s insurance industry, with joint ventures in India, announced investments worth about £238 million, subjected to regulatory approvals. UK has also pledged to partner India in its ambitious urban developmental goals under ‘Smart India’ mission and will jointly develop Indore, Pune and Amaravati through technical assistance, expertise sharing and business engagem India and UK on Friday announced the signing of bilateral trade agreements worth £9 billion ($13.7 billion), besides advancing partnership in several key areas including defence, international security, infrastructure and energy. The agreement was announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day visit to UK. Addressing the Indo-UK Business Meeting at Guildhall, London, Modi emphasised the need to bolster the economic ties between the two countries and said India would work closely with UK to realise a mutual economic growth. “We are particularly keen to develop the sectors where UK is strong. We are working hard to create conducive conditions for this engagement. We will work together with the British government, industry and the financial markets to deepen our relationship and harness their interest in India’s infrastructure,” Modi said. British Prime Minister David Cameron also noted that Indo-UK economic engagements had scopes to expand further and sought to enhance cooperation in the field of infrastructure development. “We want to become your number one partner for securing the finance needed for this ambitious plan, making London the world’s centre for offshore rupee trading. We want British companies with their world-class consulting, project management and engineering skills to help you plan, design and build these new cities,” Cameron said. Energy giant OPG Power Ventures Plc has agreed to add £2.9 billion to its existing investments in India, thus taking the total investments to £3.4 billion,  to generate 4200 MW of new power capacity - 1000 MW solar power and 3200 MW thermal and renewable power – in Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Lightsource - the largest solar PV generator in the UK and Europe has announced to invest £2 billion to develop 3 gigawatts of solar power infrastructure over the next five years. Genus ABS will construct a dairy facility near Pune in Maharashtra and provide advance dairy genetics and technology to India with an investment of £1 billion. Mobility device manufacturer Kloudpad Mobility Research Ltd. has announced to invest £1 billion in South India under ‘Make in India’ initiative to develop next generation of smart watches, wearables and tablets. Vodafone has also announced to invest £1.3 billion – £800 million to strengthen country-wide network coverage, £300 million to advance its technology centres in Pune and Ahmedabad, £100 million to create a tier-4 data centre and £100 million to create a payment bank – under ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ campaigns.  India’s bilateral trade with UK stood at $14.34 billion in 2014-15, with exports amounting to $9.3 billion and imports to $5 billion.  

November 13, 2015 | 3:05pm IST

The Dollar Business Bureau - Nov 13, 2015 12:00 IST
 
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