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December 2016

Manchester Innovates India Engagement

Categories: India

Mancunians are known for plain speaking and decisive actions. Today the city is embodying that spirit by launching an innovative approach to capitalising on global trade opportunities. Unifying leading organisations such as Deloitte, Manchester Airports Group, Squire Patton Boggs, Growth Company, MIDAS and Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership within the “Manchester-India Partnership”, the city will uniquely provide a clear route for engagement with this strategically-vital market.

Designed to build trade, investment, cultural and educational ties, the Manchester-India Partnership will have at its heart “Make in India, Innovate with Manchester”, building on the economic strategy championed by Prime Minister Modi; leveraging Manchester’s innovation and research capabilities in a broad range of sectors ranging from advanced materials to big data in collaboration with Indian industry and research institutes.

Launched by Lord Jim O’Neill at the House of Commons on 1 Feb in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Manchester-India Partnership will be chaired by Andrew Cowan, Chief Executive of Manchester Airport, with dedicated staff in Delhi, Bangalore and Manchester. The UK launch will be followed by one in Mumbai on 6 Feb as part of the UK-India “Createch” Summit.

The formation of the Manchester-India Partnership reflects the strong investment into the region from knowledge-led Indian firms such as HCL, Hero Cycles and 42Gears, and strategic partnerships by Universities of Salford and Bolton with Bangalore and the State of Karnataka, to build on the increasing attractiveness of Manchester for Indian researchers, students and tourists.

A major target for the Manchester-India Partnership will be to encourage direct air routes to further broaden the existing economic and cultural links, with Manchester Airport already the 6th largest European air gateway into India. Drawing on parallels with the city’s strategic relationship with China, the launch of a direct Manchester-Beijing air route generated an additional £138m into Manchester’s visitor economy in the first year of operation. It is hoped that, with similar focus, the city will attract direct Indian routes and in doing so facilitate comparable levels of investment and economic growth.

Lord O’Neill commented “The Manchester-India Partnership is an exciting initiative, which recognises the rising importance of global cities in forging strategic international partnerships. India is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies; it therefore makes eminent sense for Manchester to further develop its’ air connectivity, trade, science and cultural links with this emerging global power.”

Andrew Cowan, CEO of Manchester Airport, said: “Forging closer relationships with the world’s most important markets is key to the future prosperity of Manchester and the wider region. That is why I am pleased to be chairing the Manchester-India Partnership, which will exist to strengthen the trade and cultural ties between the two locations.

“We have seen first-hand how direct air links can stimulate significant increases in inward investment, exports and research collaborations and that is why securing a route into India will be one of the Partnership’s number one priorities.”

Sir Richard Leese, Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester for Economic Growth and Business, said: “Manchester city region is famed for being at the forefront of industry and continues to be a competitive destination for international investors. India is a strategic market for Manchester and over recent years, the city region has welcomed significant investments from Indian companies including Hero Cycles, who chose Manchester as the location for their £2m global design centre, HCL Technologies, 42Gears, a high growth logistic solutions company from Bangalore, Vistaar Productions and the State Bank of India.”

David Landsman, Chair, CII India Business Forum and Executive Director, Tata Limited, said: “There’s probably never been more attention on the economic relationship between the UK and India, as India undertakes significant market reforms and the UK prepares to leave the EU. It’s time therefore to put the spotlight on the huge contribution which Indian businesses make to the British economy.

“Today’s exhibition in Parliament showcases businesses in almost every sector, from banking to pharmaceuticals, from luxury cars to luxury hotels, from tea to IT, and of course the Indian food and restaurants which have become a full part of British culture. There are plenty of Indian businesses a stone’s throw from Parliament, but they can also be found right across the whole country. So we’re also proud today to be launching the Manchester-India Partnership, one more step towards deepening the relationship across the country.

During the launch Tech Mahindra announced the company will establish an innovation and digital office at MediaCityUK, Greater Manchester this year, creating up to 80 jobs.

The event was co-hosted by the CII, Grant Thornton and the Manchester-India Partnership represented by Andrew Cowan, Chief Executive Officer, Manchester Airport.

Find out more information about the Manchester-India Partnership.

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