Greater Manchester will lead a significant event this week as part of an ongoing initiative to develop and strengthen commercial trade and investment ties with India.
With internationalisation at the heart of the Greater Manchester Strategy – a robust plan which lays out detailed sector specific campaigns for growth and identifies India as an area of significant interest for the region – organisers are preparing to welcome delegates from over 40 Indian companies to a targeted business summit on Wednesday and Thursday.
Following on from the highly successful visit by India’s Deputy High Commissioner in March, Manchester’s next phase will see influential business leaders from India and Greater Manchester come together for a two-day business event, with the objective of building stronger bilateral trade relationships between the regions.
The meeting coincides with the fourth India vs. England Investec Test Match, meaning that the eyes of India will be on Manchester, offering the ideal opportunity to attract investment from Indian businesses that have yet to establish themselves in the region; whist enabling Manchester’s home-grown companies to forge partnerships with Indian companies.
Brought together as a mutually beneficial engagement between Indian and British business interests, the event is supported by the UK India Business Council (UKIBC), MIDAS, Deloitte, BDP, UK Trade and Investment, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, VisitEngland, the Midland Hotel and the Lowry Theatre.
Attendees will include Dr.Virander Paul, Deputy High Commissioner of India; Ms. Rachita Bhandari, First Secretary (Economic); Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council; Michael Oglesby CBE, Chairman of MIDAS; Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt, Chair of UK India Business Council; Mike Blackburn, chairman of Greater Manchester LEP; Ian Stewart, the Mayor of Salford; and cricket legend Farokh Engineer.
Speaking about the event Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt, said: “I’m delighted that UKIBC are working with Greater Manchester, to not only highlight the opportunities for collaboration between the region and India, but to bring businesses from both sides and a range of sectors together to develop key areas of cooperation.”
“Greater Manchester is one of the UK’s most dynamic and innovative urban areas, with exceptional strengths in the life sciences, education, digital innovation and manufacturing sectors. These are not only key areas of growth and opportunity for the Indian economy, but are areas where India holds real expertise, and a partnership with foundations in these sectors holds immense promise for not only Manchester, but India as well.”
The first day of the event will form an opportunity to showcase Manchester as an ideal business and trade destination and will exhibit the city’s aptitude in key target markets, including professional services, creative and digital, life sciences, and ICT. On Thursday a business summit will be held at Emirates Old Trafford, where delegates will learn more about Greater Manchester’s strategy India and further explore opportunities for bilateral trade.
Tim Newns, chief executive of MIDAS said: “This summit will present a fantastic opportunity to not only boost foreign investment in the region, but also to help our resident industries find a foothold in the Indian marketplace.”
“India has been pinpointed as a promising growth area for Greater Manchester, and as such is critical to Greater Manchester’s wider international strategy.
“With the Election of Prime Minister Modi in India there is a new openness to bilateral trade that Manchester must take advantage of to support growth. This event, which will be attended by a number of major Indian and GM based businesses is the perfect platform to launch this enhanced focus.”