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International Trade and Commonwealth Greater Birmingham


Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce Contact: Mandy Haque T: 0845 6036650


…and business with India will double By Philip Parkin


Britain and India have paved the way for a full- blown trade deal after agreeing on an initial proposal worth £1bn. The preliminary deal will see new co-operation


and investment, focused on health and technology, which could create 6,500 jobs in the UK. Part of this will include The Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, opening a new UK base, which will include a research and development centre. The agreement will also create new opportunities for British businesses in India, particularly in the food and drink, life sciences and services sectors. It is hoped that Britain and India will double


the value of their trading partnership – currently £23bn annually – by 2030. Among those welcoming the deal is Professor


John Bryson, from the Department of Strategy and International Business at the University of Birmingham’s Business School. He said: “There are two things to draw from


this development. First, the initial numbers related to this deal are comparatively modest - over £1bn. “Currently, trade between the UK and India is


worth around £23bn a year. Second, the expectation is that this new partnership will double the value of UK-India trade and investment by 2030. “This is important in the context of the West Midlands, the West Midlands Combined Authority and the Chambers of Commerce. Andy Street has commenced his second team as mayor of the WMCA by highlighting the importance of job creation as the West Midlands enters a post-pandemic era. “It is absolutely critical that businesses across


the West Midlands focus on business opportunities that will be facilitated by the new UK-India trade agreement. “Between 2017 and 2018 UK exports to India


increased by 19.3 per cent. The size of the Indian market makes it an appealing market for West Midlands firms. “At the moment, one could argue that the UK is


underperforming in terms of exports to India and there are important opportunities to explore the myriad of family connections that bind the West Midlands with India. The opportunity is extremely large and perhaps by 2030 trade and investment with India could be worth over £100bn. “It is important that West Midlands firms draw


upon the historic links that exist between this region and India to ensure that new and existing jobs in the region are underpinned by developing the economic ties that currently exist between the West Midlands and India." Also welcoming the deal is Commonwealth Chamber president Joel Blake, who said: “The £1bn UK-India trade deal is a positive testament to the global social and commercial benefit for both countries that can be achieved by harnessing the power of diversity. With an estimated 6,500 new UK jobs to be created across key sectors such as life sciences,


Professor John Bryson: India trade opportunity is ‘extremely large’


technology, food and low carbon, both countries have the tangible opportunity to ensure that the latent potential of innovation, commercial and social mobility that is offered through this trade deal can be filtered from the boardroom, right through to grassroots communities at scale." Steve Page, PwC’s Midlands International


Markets leader and executive board member of the West Midlands India Partnership, said: “I’m pleased to see the £1bn UK-India trade deals. “It will be interesting to see further detail on


specific investments and how barriers around immigration and tariffs are addressed by the enhanced trade partnership. “Moving forward, I expect increased interest


and discussions with Indian investors looking at the UK and West Midlands, particularly in the automotive and electric vehicle sectors, which play to the strengths of our region.


‘It is hoped that Britain and India will double the value of their trading partnership’


“I also see huge opportunities for the 1.5


million Indian diaspora in the UK, who are passionate about their UK and India ties, and have made valuable contributions to the British economy to play a big part in supporting this. “The UK and India have been strategic partners


for many years, this has been further reinforced over the last year with the establishment of the West Midlands India Partnership.” The latter is a new initiative aimed at boosting


trade and investment between the West Midlands and India, and its chairman, Jason Wouhra, also president of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce, said that the deal was a vote of confidence for the Commonwealth. He said: “This announcement shows just how important it is to trade with Commonwealth partners. “India and the UK already have incredibly


strong trade ties, and this £1bn trade and investment package will help bolster both economies and expose UK-made products and intellectual property around the world.”


Major milestone for G&P’s Hungary office


Quality management provider G&P - which has its UK headquarters at Fort Dunlop - is celebrating 15 years in Hungary. Based in Mór, G&P’s Hungarian team is


deployed in various manufacturing facilities around the country, primarily in the automotive supply chain. G&P was founded in 1994 and now has 1,000 employees worldwide. The company operates


in a number of sectors, including automotive and aerospace, and provides inspection, rectification and technical services. Its Hungarian office – G&P Quality Management Kft - was opened in 2006, offering a full range of quality management services to manufacturers and their suppliers. G&P CEO Dino Kyriacou said: “It is fantastic to celebrate 15 years in Hungary, helping


manufacturers and their suppliers through our expertise in quality management provision. “Over past year we have successfully


navigated the challenges due to the pandemic and we can now look forward to the future, providing a full range of quality management services, together with specialist engineering skills, so that quality is a continued focus for all those in the manufacturing process.”


June 2021 CHAMBERLINK 39 Commonwealth Chamber Patron


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