First British Business Centre opens in Gurgaon, second to open in Bangalore

India News Bulletin Desk

A first ever British Business Centre has been launched in Gurgaon to strengthen UK-India trade ties. A second centre will open in Bangalore in 2014 to promote collaboration between British businesses and Bangalore and South India.

British Business centre opens in Gurgaon. (L-R) British High Commissioner Sir James Bevan, Haryana CM Bhupindar Singh Hooda, Lord Stephen Green and UKIBC Chair Patricia Hewitt
Image: official facebook page of British High Commission

Run by the UK India Business Council (UKIBC), the Gurgaon British Business centre was opened by UK Trade and Investment Minister Lord Stephen Green.

It will act as first of a network of centres across India to offer British businesses a launch pad to gain a strong foothold in India -- a crucial market opportunity for Britain, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said.

“I want Britain to be India’s partner of choice in areas from infrastructure to education and healthcare,” Cameron said.

He also said that India’s massive and vibrant economy offers “fantastic opportunities to British businesses” and highlighted the growing trade relationship between the two countries.

(L-R) UK Trade and Investment Minister Lord Stephen Green, UKIBC Chair Patricia Hewitt and British High Commissioner Sir James Bevan at the opening of first UK India Business Centre in Gurgaon
Image: official facebook page of British High Commission

“In the first half of this year alone we have already seen an 18% increase in bilateral trade – a rate that will see us hit our target of doubling trade by 2015,” Cameron said.

British Business Centre in Bangalore

UKIBC will open the Bangalore centre in the first half of 2014 to support UK companies across sectors, said UKIBC chief executive, Richard Heald.

The move to launch a business centre in Bangalore is a strategic one. The city has a GDP of $83bn and is a leader in technology and innovation.

 “Not only do we have British firms Rolls Royce, BAe, Tesco, ARM, HSBC, Aviva operating here, we also have Bangalore based companies such as Wipro, Infosys, Biocon well established in the UK. Bangalore talented workforce, research institutions and innovation are of particular interest to UK firms," Heald said.

The centre will make it easier for UK startups to enter the Indian market as they grow and will also support the Indian technology companies looking to expand into Europe.

The Bangalore centre will receive support from the British Council of India as well as Indian entrepreneurs in the UKIBC Advisory Council including Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chair and managing director of Biocon Limited and T.V. Mohandas Pai, chairman of Manipal Global Education and former member of the Board of Directors of Infosys.

"The UK is extremely rich in innovation and research across all sciences, specifically Biotechnology and Life Sciences. The eco-system that the UK offers through research institutes, innovative companies and large scientific pool, fits very well with what Indian companies need at this stage,” Mazumdar-Shaw said.

The centre will support initiatives like Karnataka ICT Group 2020 which is supporting start-ups and IT workforce in the state.

the growing need to strengthen UK-India ties come at a time when the UK has become the third largest investor in India with a total FDI inflow of $17.6bn, accounting for 9% of the total FDI inflow, between April 2000 and June 2013. Also, in 2012, the bilateral trade was at £15.4bn.
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