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Greater Manchester acknowledges closer India relations at business summit

4th July 2018

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Greater Manchester and India came together during an exclusive event to encourage more bilateral trade and celebrate strengthened relationships between the two regions.

The Manchester-India Business Summit welcomed over 50 influential companies and key government figures from the UK and India with interests in developing trade opportunities, as well as showcasing the city region as a key business destination for Indian investors. It enabled Indian companies including Tech Mahindra and Hero Cycles to demonstrate how they have successfully accessed the UK market by establishing operations in Greater Manchester, along with Jet Airways, the air carrier set to launch a direct Manchester-Mumbai route this autumn.

Organised by the Manchester India Partnership, an award-winning public-private initiative which facilitates global investment, tourism and academic opportunities between Manchester and India, the Summit partners included Manchester Airport, Jet Airways, Deloitte, University of Salford, Department for International Trade, MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency and Marketing Manchester. 

Andrew Cowan, CEO, Manchester Airport and Chair, Manchester India Partnership

“Since the Manchester India Partnership was established earlier this year to enhance Manchester’s strategic engagement with India, significant Manchester-India investments have taken place including the imminent launch of Manchester’s first direct flight to India with Jet Airways.

 “This route will make a significant contribution to driving economic, cultural and academic exchange between the North of England and India.”

Crispin Simon, British Deputy High Commissioner for West of India and Director General, Department for International Trade, India

“Greater Manchester’s global reputation as an innovator in technology, life sciences, its expertise in the field of engineering and being home to a sizeable Indian diaspora – are some of the qualities that make the city region such an attractive destination for investors, students and tourists. And India can offer Greater Manchester a large and high-growth market with a deep pool of skills and technology. There is so much untapped potential in so many important relationships.”

Jo Ahmed, Partner, Deloitte

“Greater Manchester is the second largest digital hub in the UK, and the city has a world-leading reputation as a place of creativity and innovation. The launch of the Manchester India Partnership has already generated impressive achievements, including the direct Manchester-Mumbai flight, and an influx of investment from knowledge-led Indian firms.

“India’s ambitions to become a leading hub for AI, backed by its vast engineering workforce and burgeoning start-up scene, is leading the boom in India’s tech industry. With this impressive potential and growing connectivity, it is vital we continue to showcase the synergies between Manchester and India.”

Tim Newns, CEO, MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency

“India continues to be central to Greater Manchester’s Internationalisation Strategy and the cosmopolitan city region is a great place for Indian companies to get a foothold in the UK market, with Indian companies having created almost 300 jobs here in recent years.

“Greater Manchester is growing rapidly which is attracting Indian high-growth companies, for example 42Gears and HCL Technologies, interested in gaining access to our key sectors. The city region also appeals to Indian companies looking to access our academic and innovation capabilities, with the potential to establish R&D operations around our world-renowned institutions.

“Manchester India Partnership’s recent win of the Trade & Investment Promotion Organisation of the Year Award at the UK-India Awards 2018 acknowledges some of the ground-breaking work that has already taken place.”

During the Summit, Tech Mahindra, one of India’s largest IT providers and the University of Salford signed an ambitious memorandum of understanding. The MoU comes just months after Tech Mahindra opened its 'HQ for the North' in Salford and aims to collaborate on tech transformation projects leveraging digital technologies, creating connected experiences for smart cities using automation, IoT, big data & analytics, as well as research into virtual reality and augmented reality and autonomous cars. This will provide opportunities to both parties to develop a future ready task force.

Summit attendees included Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester; Andrew Cowan, CEO, Manchester Airport and Chair, Manchester India Partnership; Manish Singh, Minister (Economic), High Commission of India; and Crispin Simon, British Deputy High Commissioner for West of India and Director General, Department for International Trade.

Panel sessions exploring the power of cities in building international trade, the power of trade and investment and connecting UK and India clusters included: Mark Cartwright, Group MD, Cartwright Group; Seth Finegan, CEO, Informed Solutions Ltd; Kaushik Sindhu, Associate Vice President, 42Gears; Praveen Iyer, VP – Commercial Planning and Revenue Management, Jet Airways; Esha Singh, General Manager, The Hut Group; Jo Ahmed, Partner, Deloitte; Paul Billington, Commercial Director, The Landing; Lakshmi Kaul, Head and Representative, Confederation of Indian Industry; and Ashish Pandey, Head of North, Tech Mahindra.

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