UK eyes India’s potential defence market

UK eyes India’s potential defence market

India's plans to open up its defence, insurance markets and the GST, will increase the quantum of British-India trade, says the UK Trade Minister

The Dollar Business Bureau

Committed to strengthening its trade ties with India, the British government on Thursday expressed hope over India’s plan for opening up of its key sectors to the UK market. “India's plans to open up its defence and insurance markets, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to create a single market, are highly desirable and will indeed serve to create wealth and jobs and increase the quantum of British-India trade," said the UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment Francis Maude of Horsham. The UK Minister was speaking at a conference to announce the opening of the India-UK Business Convention in New Delhi. The Minister said that his government is committed to deepen ties with India, thus forming a strategic partnership.  Meanwhile, the Sterling Assets India report, produced by the Confederation of British Industry, PwC UK and the UK-India Business Council, was also unveiled at the conference.  Citing the findings of the report, Maude said that over the past few years, British companies have been the biggest investors in India and they have invested more in India than the whole of the rest of the EU combined. "One in 20 of the total organised private sector jobs in India are employed through British companies. The study also discovered that British companies in India spend more than twice the Indian government's requirement of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). They spend an average 7% of their turnover on training and re-skilling their employees in India," he noted. According to the report, between 2005 and 2015, the UK investments in India amounted to $22.2 billion, 9% of overall FDI in the country. This makes the UK, the largest G20 investor, outpacing the US and Japan, and substantially ahead of all other nations.  British companies alone generated 1, 37,000 jobs, represents nearly 7% of 1.96 million jobs generated by FDI in India, said the report. Meanwhile, Patricia Hewitt, chair, UKIBC, raised concerns of the British business leaders over tax regime in India. “... Not simply Indians, but British business leaders have been concerned about the need in India to have a stable and predictable tax regime," said Hewitt. Stating that the British business leaders welcomed the Indian Finance Minister’s statement that ‘India does not intend to impose retrospective taxation and on the legacy issues’, she noted that these legacy issues will be resolved sooner than later’. Over 600 delegates, international business leaders, and senior ministers from the UK and India are participating in the largest-ever India-UK Business convention being held between September 10-12, 2015.  

September 11, 2015 | 1:12pm IST.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Sep 11, 2015 12:00 IST