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Commonwealth Greater Birmingham


Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce Contact: Jamila Davis T: 0845 6036650


Focus on...


IFL helps deliver supplies to hospitals


Birmingham-based International Forwarding Limited (IFL) is using its resources to help supply the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic. IFL is classified by the Government as an


India offers a real land of export opportunity


This feature is the first in a number looking at individual countries that exporters may want to target. This feature was written before the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the UK and India – however, in the next issue of Chamberlink, Commonwealth Chamber president Keith Stokes-Smith will be taking a look at how different countries are dealing with coronavirus, and what business prospects will be like once the outbreak is over.


India is one of the most important of the 54 Commonwealth countries, not least because it has the largest population by far of these nations, at 1.366 bn. The country – the seventh biggest in the


world by area – also has one of the largest economies, alongside the UK, Canada and Australia. According to the International Monetary


Fund, the Indian economy was worth around £2 trillion in 2017, making it the sixth largest in the world. It is also one of the world’s fastest growing economies, and is likely to remain so until 2050 (according to Price Waterhouse Cooper’s report ‘The World in 2050’). India is a major agricultural nation, with


products including rice, wheat, cotton, tea, and potatoes. The country’s major industries include textiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, steel, cement and mining. There are many opportunities for UK firms


to forge links with India, one of which is the health sector. This was highlighted during a recent India-


UK Healthcare Conference in Birmingham, which led to Consul General Dr Aman Puri declaring: “In light of the India-UK Healthcare Conference 2020, the partnership between the two countries is at an early stage, but a lot more can be done by combining the UK’s technical expertise and India’s talent pool. “India is expected to rank among the top


three healthcare markets, in terms of incremental growth, by the later part of this year, and healthcare has become one of India’s largest sector, both in terms of revenue and employment.” Among areas of co-operation is the training


of health professionals, many of whom would be employed in India, but others would work in the UK. Health Education England (HEE) is


playing a leading role in this, ensuring that as Britain increases its overseas recruitment efforts for doctors, nurses, radiographers, careworkers and others, it contributes substantially in boosting the number of healthcare workers who are trained up in partner countries. According to Dr Puri, there are also private


sector efforts to boost healthcare training in India, one example being a training centre for trauma and emergency care in Kerala, which is expected to train up to 9,000 doctors, nurses, paramedics and ambulance workers in the basics of trauma and emergency care over a period of two years. This project is being underwritten by a £1.4-


million grant provided by the Tata Trusts, which has its roots in an organisation launched by the ‘father of Indian industry,’ Jamsetji Tata, also the founder of the Tata Group. The consulate is working to replicate this


project in other Indian states. The Chamber is holding trading with India event later this year, in conjunction with the consulate. Hitesh Saxena, new head of chancery at the


consulate, said: “India will be the third biggest economy in the world by 2030 and is predicted to grow at an average of 5.9 per cent per annum until 2050, making it the most rapidly expanding of all G20 countries”. Keith Stokes-Smith, president of the Greater Birmingham Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce, said: “There can be no doubt that India offers the West Midlands great export potential when it comes to our good quality goods and services. “With a growing ‘middle class’ with similarly


growing incomes and the positivity associated with British brands, opportunities certainly abound.”


‘essential’ supply chain business and is continuing to trade seven days a week. The company is using its trucks, trailers,


warehouses and staff to deliver supplies to NHS hospitals and medical sites around the UK. Managing director Rob Pike said: “As an


integrated part of the UK transport, logistics and home delivery sector we will work to ensure continuous support for our customers, especially at a time where these services are vital to support the government’s response to the virus.” “These are testing times for us all but we’re


happy to play a part in the NHS supply chain. “On one day, we sent out five double-decker


trucks, which can carry up to 50 pallets each, stacked with medical and pharmaceutical products for urgent transport around the UK. “We doubled our warehouse space in the Midlands last year but it has still been all hands to the deck reorganising our warehouses to free up more space. “We’ve also had to implement our own health


and safety procedures with staff working from home or on an office rotation basis to make sure we are keeping people safe and complying with public health guidelines.”


Firm offers storage facility to importers


A logistics company in Garretts Green, Birmingham, is offering importers the chance to utilise its customs external temporary storage facility (ETSF) to provide greater flexibility during challenging times. Customs ETSFs are facilities which can be


used to temporarily store goods from outside of the EU, allowing organisations to defer duty and VAT payments for the goods for a short amount of time. This gives importers to delay the spread of


these payments. The facility, at Atlas Logistic’s 35,00sq ft warehouse, is a customs transit shed, similar to that at the ports and airports around the UK. Atlas says it gives organisations the flexibility


to move cargo without processing customs declaration from the ports to Birmingham. Once goods are at the firm’s ETSF, importers


have a 20-day window to clear customs, pay duty and VAT then take receipt of the goods. Atlas is able to receive uncleared cargo from


any port or airport in the UK. The firm is also able to create and discharge


T1 documents, a transit document for such goods, and is an Authorised Consignor, which allows them to carry out such transit operations.


May 2020 CHAMBERLINK 35 Commonwealth Chamber Patron


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