Press release

Business Secretary takes trade delegation to India's growing regional cities

Vince Cable takes a delegation of 25 British companies to India's growing regional cities on a 4 day trade visit.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Business Secretary Vince Cable begins a 4 day trade visit to India today (9 December 2013), taking a delegation of 25 British companies to India’s growing regional cities.

The visit begins today in New Delhi where Dr Cable will co-chair the annual UK-India trade and economic committee with the Indian Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Anand Sharma. Plans to develop business opportunities and strengthen existing partnerships over the coming year to progress advanced engineering, education and skills and innovation through business will be the focus of the talks.

Dr Cable and the business delegation will then visit Coimbatore (Tuesday 10 December 2013), Chennai (Wednesday 11 December 2013) and Bangalore (Thursday 12 December 2013) - each fast growing regional cities with considerable growth potential for UK companies. It will be the minister’s first visit to Coimbatore, which is 1 of the fast growing smaller cities in India.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

Economic recovery remains a central priority for the UK and our industrial strategy is a key element in giving businesses the confidence to invest. Trade has lagged in recent years but I am delighted that UK exports to India have grown by some 20% this year.

UK firms are the largest European investors in India and there is more Indian investment in the UK than the rest of the EU combined, led by Tata.

We have always had a special relationship between our countries and I am keen to push business collaboration much further as we work towards doubling trade with India by 2015.

During the visit Dr Cable will sign a new £180 million repayment guarantee deal underwritten by UK Export Finance (UKEF) and coordinated by HSBC which will support Indian company Reliance Industries Limited to place up to 30 service and equipment contracts with UK companies for their Jamnagar and Dahej oil refineries.

A number of other agreements will be announced during the visit:

  • a joint platform to support business by the UK India Business Council and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to help UK small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) access pre-approved service providers
  • Indian-based online and mobile search service Zomato intends to invest a further $1 million in Scotland over the next year, set up teams across key UK cities and make the UK the headquarters of its European operations Newcastle, Leeds and Bristol are amongst the cities being looked into. Zomato also has 25 employees in the UK and expects to increase this to 150 in next 18 months
  • The Technical Welding Institute, a Cambridge-based engineering firm, is opening new training facilities in Mumbai, Trichy and Cochin
  • Indian company Dynamatics Technologies have a UK plant that has won recent orders worth $250m over 5 years, creating up to 10 new jobs in the UK.
  • Jubilant Biosys and Metaome Science Informatics Ltd UK has won a competition launched by the Science & Innovation Network in September, to find Bangalore’s most innovative biotech or medtech company looking to expand internationally. The winners will get a 2 week visit to Cambridge to explore the opportunity to set up there

The visit follows the announcement in Thursday’s Autumn Statement that UKTI’s presence in India will be increased by investing £6 million in the next financial year. This will enhance the level of support for UK companies in India, and strengthen the proposition for Indian companies to invest in the UK.

In Chennai Dr Cable will inaugurate the GREAT British Festival which showcases UK companies in India and he will take part in an interactive session with young entrepreneurs at the PSG STEP entrepreneurial park.

Mr Cable will also visit G Kuppuswamy Naidu Memorial Hospital to explore health partnerships and promote SME links by participating in a video-conference between UK and Indian SMEs during his visit to Tata Consultancy Services.

Notes to Editors:


  • this is Vince Cable’s fourth ministerial visit to India and his first trip to Coimbatore
  • we are making good progress on our target to double trade with India by 2015
  • UK exports to India are up by about 20% and Indian exports to the UK are up 4%
  • UK-India now has the fastest growing bilateral research partnership for the UK. Jointly-funded programmes have broken through the £150 million barrier, up from £1 million 4 years ago. This is bringing together the best minds in both countries to tackle challenges critical to both countries
  • there are over 1,000 Indian companies in the UK
  • Tata is the largest manufacturing employer in the UK with 45,000 employees
  • a network of Indian Angel Investors has announced a new London office to invest in high technology start ups
  • last year the UK exported £4.66 billion goods to India and £2.22 billion services to India
  • from January to June this year we have exported goods to the value of £2.87 billion
  • there are 4,000 Indian students studying in the UK

2.UK Export Finance expects that the £180 million loan facility will support up to 30 contracts for UK companies to supply equipment and services to Reliance Industries Limited for expansion projects. It is UKEF’s first deal in India since the 90s and it is expected that a large number of these orders will be placed with SMEs in the UK. UK contractors who will benefit include Bechtel Limited (£32 milllion), Foster Wheeler Energy Limited (£29 million) and Porvair Filtration Group Ltd (£27 milllion).

3.On Friday (6 December 2013) the government strengthened its commitment to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by publishing a statement on how they will help small businesses grow.

  • finance business growth by creating the right banking and investment environment and the most supportive tax regime in the world
  • hire people by making employment processes more straightforward and promoting a more skilled workforce
  • develop new ideas and products by helping businesses get access to the expertise, equipment and funding they need to turn great ideas into reality
  • expand into new markets by removing barriers to certain sectors and providing advice and support for businesses trying to export
  • get the right support at the right time by making support schemes easier to find and more relevant
  • get on with doing business by making sure regulation and the way it is enforced is proportionate and pro-growth

4.The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set 4 ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

5.The GREAT campaign showcases the very best of what Great Britain has to offer. It was launched in India in New Delhi last year.

6.UK Trade and Investment:

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information on UKTI, visit or visit the online newsroom at

7.UK Export Finance (UKEF) is the UK’s Export credit agency. UKEF supports exporters and investors by providing credit insurance policies, political risk insurance on overseas investments and guarantees on bank loans. UK Export Finance is the operating name of the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD).

Published 9 December 2013