Chancellor's speech in India: 'Good days are coming'

'Let us link hands and embrace the future together', the Chancellor says in Mumbai during the first day of his visit to India.

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

Chancellor George Osborne

Mumbai is the financial capital of this great country - and so there’s no better place to talk about the deep economic partnership between my nation and yours, and what we can do to make it deeper still.

It’s great to be here at a time when the excitement about the Indian economy, and the optimism about the prospects for future growth are palpable.

I’ve been here for a day and already I can feel the buzz in the air.

And the excitement here is matched by new confidence among international investors abroad in the future of the Indian economy.

It is a measure of the ambition and drive and pace of the new government of Prime Minister Modi, that this complete turn-around in sentiment about the Indian economy has been achieved in just seven short weeks, since that stunning election victory.

Now, comes the challenge of turning that optimism into a concrete programme of reform.

We faced that challenge four years ago as we sought to turn around sentiment about the UK after our Great Recession.

We set out our long term economic plan and we’ve worked through it.

Now Britain is reaping the benefits with the fastest growing advanced major economy in the world, the deficit set to have halved, and a record number of Britons in work.

Your Budget is just a few days away - and expectations are high.

But judging by the conversation I’ve already had with my colleague Arun Jaitley, I have every confidence he and the whole government will meet those expectations and succeed.

I look forward to seeing Mr Jaitley tomorrow and the Prime Minister, and I’ve just come from meeting your impressive Central Bank Governor Rajan.

My message to this formidable team of reformers is the same as my message to you today.

To adopt a phrase from Prime Minister Modi: good days are coming for the India-Britain relationship.

Good days are coming for the investment we make in each other’s economies.

Good days are coming for the trade between our two trading nations.

Good days are coming for the financial partnership we can forge to build, literally, the infrastructure of the future.

That’s what I mean when I say:

Good days are coming.

How can I be so sure?

Well, in part because we start from a strong position.

The British Indian community already make a huge contribution to our society and our national wealth. They are at the vanguard of the growing economic partnership between our two countries.

And there is no greater champion of the British Indian community than my colleague in the House of Commons Priti Patel MP who joins us here today.

That economic partnership between Britain and India is getting stronger still.

Since I’ve been coming here as Chancellor, the UK has increased its exports to India by 50% and increased imports from India by a third.

UK companies are now some of the biggest foreign investors in India.

And Indian companies invest more in Britain than in the rest of the European Union put together.

This has been driven by the ingenuity and enterprise of business people, from the managers of the largest multinational firms to the owners of the smallest companies, who have had the courage to take the daunting first steps and start to export.

And it’s been helped by a huge, deliberate effort from the British government.

At the heart of the long term economic plan we are pursuing is a determination that not only will Britain live within its means, with tough decisions to bring the public finances under control and into balance; but also that we will expand those means by making the things and providing the services that the rest of the world wants to buy.

The job of expanding our exports, increasing investment, and rebalancing our economy is not yet done.

We have more work to do.

More work to do with India.

From the moment David Cameron came here eight years ago; to the decision he took to make India the destination for his first big foreign visit as Prime Minister in 2010; to this first ever joint visit by a British Chancellor and British Foreign Secretary to meet the new Indian government just weeks after coming to office; we have put a stronger relationship between Britain and India at the heart of our foreign and economic policies.

And I believe a stronger relationship with Britain will help deliver the new economic policy of the Indian government.

Prime Minister Modi is seeking more investment in India’s economy - and I want British companies to provide it, and the British government to support it.

We have great manufacturing businesses like JCB opening two new plants in Jaipur, creating jobs here and powering construction here.

We have Diageo, our premier drinks company, investing £1 billion this month in Indian business here.

We have BP who are making one of the largest foreign investment in Indian history in the energy sector here.

In the last couple of days we have concluded a £250 million new deal to supply British defence equipment to the Indian Air Force, creating hundreds of jobs in the UK.

Tomorrow William and I will travel to Delhi to see the British design and expertise going in to building the new state of the art air traffic control tower in the remodelled Delhi Airport.

And tomorrow I will set out our ambitious plans to encourage more of this British investment and expertise in Indian infrastructure with a completely new and innovative use of our export finance on a major scale, to support crucial Indian infrastructure projects such as the Bangalore Mumbai Economic Corridor.

My colleague in government Greg Barker MP is tasked by our Prime Minister with helping make that Corridor happen and is joining us today.

But long gone are the days when investment and exports were a one way street from West to East.

Indian businesses are huge investors in the UK.

I want more of that investment.

And that too is what the new government here seeks: Indian companies and Indian innovation and Indian technology powering the economies of the world

Tata is already a huge, successful presence in the UK - and one of the largest manufacturing employers in the country.

Today I can announce that Mahindra is joining them.

I’ve just come from visiting the Mahindra plant in Kandivali with my colleague around the Cabinet table, Oliver Letwin.

This great Indian business is now going to invest £20 million in developing the latest electrical car technology in the UK.

And Mahindra’s first electric car is expected to go on sale in Britain next year.

Britain wants to be at the centre of the technological revolution in electric cars.

India wants its companies to lead that revolution.

Working in partnership, we can achieve both our economic goals.

And we see that partnership not just in the automotive sector, but pharmaceuticals too.

GlaxoSmithKline are big investors here in India.

I can announce that now one of India’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, CIPLA, will be investing £100 million in research and development of new respiratory and oncology drugs and antiretroviral medicines.

This kind of high tech, research-driven investment is the future for both our economies.

We can also do more finance together.

I know Prime Minister Modi is determined to repeat the success he has had in financing new infrastructure in Gujarat across the whole of India.

Britain stands ready to help him, for we are at the centre of global finance and the home of financial expertise.

We want to work with you in developing new bond markets here and new financial services here.

Standard Chartered this week announce the opening of their 100th branch here - confirming their place as by far the biggest overseas banking presence here.

And we want to use the new Financial Services Partnership to develop the role London can play as a gateway for Indian firms seeking access to global capital markets.

Money, raised in London, with the help of British expertise used to fund the infrastructure of a growing Indian economy.

And just as Britain is now a key partner of China in the internationalisation of the renminbi, I want to see how we can help you develop the rupee into the great international currency I believe it has the potential to become.

Tomorrow I will set out details of the new guarantees we will offer for rupee denominated export finance as a step on that exciting journey

There is so much more we can do together, not just in finance but education and science and international collaboration.

India is embarking on an exciting journey of reform under your new government.

I believe there to be no more reliable companion on that journey than the United Kingdom.

Let us link hands.

Embrace the future together.

Work to create jobs and prosperity for Indians and Britons together.

For good days are coming.

Published 7 July 2014