Britain forges UK India business ties with a CBI office in New Delhi

India News Bulletin Desk

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has re-opened its office in the Indian capital to deepen Britain’s business links with India, its fifth largest investor. The CBI India office will give UK businesses insights into the Indian market and act as an enabler for doing business in the country.

The UK and India are among the top investors in each other’s economies bringing significant long term benefits to both, according to CBI, the non-profit business organisation.

UK India bilateral trade is worth £16.4bn, 26% higher from 2010.  With the CBI India office, the UK aims to double its bilateral trade with India by 2015 while India seeks to increase its bilateral trade with the UK to £24bn in the same period.

The CBI India office is the UK’s latest attempt to boost trade relation with India. Two months ago, UK’s energy and climate change minister, Gregory Barker, was given the additional responsibility of increasing business relations between Britain and India, emphasising India’s importance for trade and investment to the UK.

The UK is the most popular business destination for Indian companies in Europe. Out of the 1200 Indian companies in the EU, 700 are in the UK.

In 2011 alone, the UK attracted 81 new projects from India generating 5,454 jobs. In the same year, Britain’s exports to India also increased by 29% making India, the UK’s largest export market out of the EU.

High on CBI India's agenda is the Indian regulatory environment, international trade and investment, education & skills, climate change-related business opportunities and private public sector partnerships. The British organisation will also focus on liberalisation across retail, banking and financial sectors in India.

The CBI India office will be headed by Shehla Raza Hasan, its policy director and Mark Runacres, CBI’s India adviser. It will represent the interests of British businesses and Indian businesses which have a global focus.

“There is a huge potential between the UK and India to do,” Hasan said.

Prior to joining the CBI, Hasan was in charge of investment work for UK Trade & Investment for Eastern and North Eastern India at the British Deputy High Commission in Kolkata. She has also worked at the Indian Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to the Delhi office, the CBI has a China office in Beijing, a US office in Washington D.C and an EU office in Brussels. 

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