Business leaders from the UK and India today (13 November 2015) signalled their commitment to improving trade, investment and economic collaboration as they met at the UK/India CEO Forum.
During the meeting at Downing Street, the Prime Minister encouraged company chairs and chief executives to identify the best ways to build new trade partnerships and investment opportunities between the countries.
The Prime Minister has appointed 20 of the UK’s top business leaders to the forum, including Standard Life chairman Sir Gerry Grimstone who will co-chair the group along with Indian counterpart Cyrus Mistry, chairman of TATA Sons Limited. The forum will identify new areas of opportunity, promote projects which will enable these opportunities to be realised, examine bilateral issues which, if addressed, would catalyse business between the 2 countries, and make recommendations accordingly.
Sir Gerry Grimstone (Standard Life) said:
Today’s meeting was a great opportunity to celebrate the success of the UK-India commercial relationship. India is the third largest investor in the UK, and the UK is the largest G20 investor in India. This forum will forge deeper collaboration in areas where there is scope to take relationship to the next levels.
Cyrus Mistry (TATA Sons Limited), said:
The common ask of industry in both countries is a business environment characterised by simplicity in structures and processes, clarity and transparency in decision-making and uniformity and consistency in the treatment of corporates and people across borders. The new UK-India CEO forum provides a powerful foundation with which to implement initiatives that will bring our 2 countries closer together, based on mutual respect and shared values.
Members have identified the below 6 overarching themes as important areas of collaboration to take forward:
- smart cities and the digital economy
- healthcare sector
- education and skills
- defence and security
- financial and professional services
The UK is the largest G20 investor in India, with 535 UK businesses employing 691,000 people across the country in sectors as diverse as retail, infrastructure, construction, information and communications technology, creative industries and healthcare. In the UK, around 800 Indian businesses employ 110,000 people.
However, the Prime Minister was clear that more could be done and asked business leaders to use the strength of existing commercial relationships to build more partnerships between innovative Indian and UK companies.
Notes to editors
The UK/India forum is being supported by the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) in the UK and the Confederation of Indian Industry in India.
UK/India CEO forum members
Chair: Sir Gerry Grimstone, Chairman of Standard Life
Members: Ian King (BAE); Sir Martin Sorrell (WPP); Lord Kakkar (UCL Partners); Sir John Peace (Standard Chartered); Bob Dudley (BP); Inga Beale (Lloyds of London); Vittorio Colao (Vodafone); Stuart Chambers (ARM); Ivan Menezes (Diageo); David Whittleton (Arup); Carolyn Fairburn (CBI); Vindi Banga (GSK and M&S); Eileen Burbidge (Tech City and Passion Capital); Lord Bamford (JCB); Jitesh Gadhia (Blackstone); Warren East (Rolls Royce); Patricia Hewitt (UKIBC); Rakesh Kapoor (Reckitt Benckiser); and Douglas Flint (HSBC).
Lord Maude also attended the forum.
Chair: Cyrus Mistry, chair of Tata Group
Members: Dr Jyotsna Suri (Bharat Hotels Limited); Sunil Bharti Mittal (Bharti Enterprises Ltd); N Chandrasekaran, (Tata Consultancy Services); Baba N Kalyani (Bharat Forge Limited); Salil Singhal (Secure Meters Limited); Dr Rajiv I Modi (Cadila Pharmaceuticals Limited); Nikhil Sawhney (Triveni Turbines Limited); T Suvarna Raju (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited); Chandrakant K Birla (National Engineering Industries Ltd); Ajay G Piramal (Piramal Enterprises Limited); Atul Punj (Punj Lloyd Limited); Analjit Singh (Max India Limited); Tulsi Tanti (Suzlon Energy); T K Kurien (WIPRO Limited); Aditya Puri (HDFC Bank Limited); and Shri Navtej Singh Sarna (MEA).