'UK is the largest G20 investor in India'

Transcript of the speech by Nicola Bolton, Managing Director, Trade, UK Trade & Investment at UK country session at Global Investors Meet in Chennai, 9 September 2015.

Nicola Bolton

Good afternoon.

My name is Nicola Bolton and I am the Managing Director, Trade, at UK Trade and Investment.

Firstly, I would like to congratulate the Government of Tamil Nadu on the Global Investor’s Meet. The UK is delighted to be participating in this event, which I understand is the first of its kind for Tamil Nadu.

UK at the GIM

Thrilled to be leading a large UK delegation to the GIM. We have 30 UK companies and partners at our pavilion. You will find companies in a very wide range of sectors – aerospace, agriculture and food processing, automotive and auto components, biotechnology and pharma, chemicals and petrochemicals, electronics, heavy engineering, IT and ITES, renewable energy, skills development, textiles and healthcare.

We have a number of special attractions at the UK pavilion. We have in display the Optare Versa, an electric bus made by Optare - the largest supplier of electric buses in the UK. Jaguar Land Rover is also displaying its Jaguar XJ and the pride of British motorcycling, Triumph, is displaying its cruiser bikes - the Rocket III, Thunderbird LT and Tiger XRx.

Who are we?

  • UK Trade & Investment (or UKTI), the organisation that I represent internationally, works with UK-based businesses to ensure their success in international markets, through exports.

  • we also encourage and support overseas companies to look at the UK as the best place to set up or expand their business.

  • we have professional advisers around the UK and staff across more than 100 countries.

  • UKTI is at the heart of the British government effort to support the UK economy.

  • last year we helped 54,000 UK companies to export and supported the delivery of 1,600 FDI projects in the UK. The UK remains Europe’s No: 1 destination for FDI.

  • our target by 2020 is to reach £1 trillion UK global exports and to double the UK’s FDI stock.

  • and India is a critical part of that global ambition. Let me illustrate that through two over-arching themes – trade and investment.


  • UK is the largest G20 investor in India. Over the last 15 years, the UK has accounted for just over 9% of all G20 investment into India, with UK FDI representing around US$ 22 billion. Last year alone the UK invested close to $1.9 billion in India.

  • some of the biggest UK investors in India include Vodafone, BP, JCB, Johnson Matthey, British Gas.

  • and the UK is committed to its offer of £1 billion of export finance credit in support of infrastructure and other needs in India.

  • but this isn’t just one way. India invests more in the UK than the rest of the EU combined. India has emerged as one of Britain’s biggest job creators, accounting last year for helping create 122 new investment projects and 7730 new jobs in UK.

  • some of the biggest Indian investors in the UK include the Tata Group which is now the largest manufacturing employer in the UK. Mahindra too are investing heavily in the UK, including in their development of next generation electric vehicles.


  • last year, the UK’s total goods and services trade with India was £15.8 billion.

  • Costa Coffee has over 100 outlets across India and plans to grow that to 200 soon.

  • the Body Shop has over 100 outlets in India and Marks & Spencer has over 45.

  • Pavers Shoes, whose story started in Chennai, is one of the largest foreign retailers in India, also with plans for further expansion.

So our trade and investment relationship is founded on a long-standing partnership.


  • but we are not complacent.

  • we are committed to keeping that partnership dynamic.

  • we have updated our visa system, reducing the number of visitor routes from 15 to just 4. This will make the process clearer and allow more freedom and flexibility for business visitors.

  • the number of Indian work visas continues to grow. Last financial year, we issued over 60,000 Indian work visas which accounts for a third of all UK work visas issued globally.

  • our Business Express Programme offers Indian businesses who have significant investments or business interests in the UK, a specialised service. Benefits include reduced documentary requirements making it far easier and quicker for such Indian firms to send their teams to the UK for strategic or operational business reasons. And last year, over two-thirds of all intra-company visas that the UK issued globally went to Indian nationals.

  • we have increased our reach. The UK now has the largest diplomatic mission in India, helping us build a stronger, wider, deeper partnership at every level including trade and investment. Apart from our High Commission in New Delhi, we have 7 Deputy High Commissions.

  • the UK-India Business Council (UKIBC) which provides market-entry services to UK SMEs now has three British Business centres across India.

  • UKTI, in collaboration with TechHub & iSPIRT, aims to introduce India’s most promising innovative tech firms to the UK. We will support Rocketship companies who have longer term international growth plans, operate scalable business models within the tech sector.


PM Modi has described India’s engagement with UK as an ‘unbeatable combination’ in forging successful partnerships that bring immense benefits to both our countries.

Our participation in the GIM as partner country demonstrates how seriously we view this partnership and the potential we see for partnership with one of India’s major industrial states, Tamil Nadu.

I encourage you all to visit the UK pavilion today or tomorrow to find out more about the products, services and technologies that our companies offer and how they can help you improve or leverage your competitiveness in Tamil Nadu, elsewhere in India or globally.

Published 9 September 2015