A new “Alive with Opportunity” campaign was launched by the UK Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch on Thursday to help double trade with India by 2030 and to achieve other targeted trade missions for UK firms in high growth sectors.
According to the Cabinet minister who arrived in India on a three-day visit to attend the G20 Trade and Investment Ministerial Meeting in Jaipur and held bilateral talks with Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal in New Delhi, they hope for further free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations – now in their twelfth round of negotiations.
Also, going beyond the strong bilateral business and trade links to highlight shared cultural interests – from football and cricket, to food and films – is the aim of the new GBP 1.5-million “GREAT” marketing blitz.
Badenoch says that the UK and India have a thriving relationship and both countries share an ambition to deepen their cultural and trading ties. India is the UK’s second biggest source of investment projects and this new campaign will surely help boost interest in and demand for UK goods and services even further.
As the UK’s Department for Business and Trade (DBT) said while the G20 trade meeting, the minister will pitch for greater deployment of digital trade, which will cut red tape and make it easier for UK businesses of all sizes to buy and sell internationally.
Round 12 of the FTA talks hosted by New Delhi coincides with Badenoch’s visit and her meeting with Goyal will “take stock” of negotiations and agree how to progress a deal, which is expected to boost bilateral trade already worth GBP 36 billion in 2022.
According to the UK government, both sides have come forward with an ambitious set of asks and the latest phase of negotiations covers “complex, sensitive, and commercially meaningful issues, including goods, services, and investment.
As the DBT reiterated, getting the best deal for both sides, which will be signed only when there is a deal that is “fair, reciprocal and ultimately in the best interests of the British people and the UK economy”, remains the focus of the meeting.
The meeting between Badenoch and some of India’s major businesses across a range of sectors, including BP, HSBC, Vodafone, Rolls Royce and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is also scheduled in New Delhi on Friday.
A bilateral with Tata Group chair Natarajan Chandrasekaran will be held, following the company’s announcement last month of a new GBP 4-billion electric vehicles’ battery gigafactory in the UK. Richard McCallum, UK-India Business Council (UKIBC) CEO, said that total trade growing 34 per cent in current prices in the year to March 2023 makes India the 2nd largest source of FDI (foreign direct investment) projects in the UK, leaving no doubt that the economic relationship between our two countries is flourishing.
He said that UK companies recognize that India is one of the fastest growing economies and one that is alive with opportunity in a range of sectors, including R&D, talent and manufacturing. UK technology and capital are also embraced by Indian firms to grow internationally. He also expressed his encouragement to see the launch of this campaign, which showcases the countries’ symbiotic relationship and the many cultural and trading opportunities both have to offer.
Targeted UK trade missions to India over the coming year under the new DBT marketing campaign include higher education, agri-tech and e-sports.
According to the DBT, the campaign will celebrate business, trade, cultural and sporting links between the UK and India, taking advantage of major moments such as India’s hosting of the Cricket World Cup from October and the England-India test series starting in January next year. The UK is promoted via billboards in airports and across social media channels in India backed by a series of targeted trade missions, promotional events and marketing activations in both countries. India is shown as the UK’s second largest source of investment projects, with 118 new projects in the last financial year creating 8,384 new jobs, more than 900 Indian businesses operating in the UK and more than 600 UK businesses finding success in India by latest DBT data.
The aim of the new campaign is to stimulate interest and demand for UK goods and services and attract new Indian inward investment.
Innovations and expertise will be shared by delegates from UK and Indian companies this month at the Agritech India exhibition in Bengaluru, followed by the Global Fintech Festival in Mumbai in September, International Railway Equipment Exhibition in Delhi in October, and Createch Mission to Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bengaluru in November.
The first UK-India Roadshow will take place up and down the UK in January 2024 and Indian companies will visit it.