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Manchester India Partnership gears up to strengthen bilateral ties on the road to the first major UK-India free trade deal

2 September 2021

Categories: India

MIP India Covid banner 

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Manchester India Partnership

Manchester’s award-winning Manchester India Partnership (MIP) has appointed a new chair, director and board members ahead of the 2021 Manchester-India Business Summit with an aim to re-vitalise and steer the Partnership into new areas of growth and success.

The new MIP chair, Simon Arora, Chief Executive of B&M Retail, Board member of the British Asian Trust, and a highly prominent figure within the Indian diaspora and business community will bring a wealth of new connections and opportunities. Jo Ahmed, Global Employee Services Partner at Deloitte and a founding member of the MIP will now take the position of Deputy Chair.

Shehla Hasan, the former Head of the Confederation of British industry in India and South Asia has taken over as Director of the MIP, and she will be joined by new Board Member Vikas Shah MBE, one of the UK’s highest profile entrepreneurs and business commentators representing TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs).

Daniel Gidney, Chief Executive of Lancashire Cricket club will also join the board to build on the Partnership’s broadening of focus on sport and culture and Dr Zubair Hanslot will replace Dr Kondal Reddy Kandadi representing The University of Bolton.

The new board will host the MIP’s annual Manchester-India Business Summit next week on the 9th and 10th September in partnership with The Department for International Trade at Lancashire Cricket Club, to celebrate and coincide with the England v India Men’s Cricket Test Match.

The Summit will promote the strong relationship between Greater Manchester and India as well as highlight opportunities around trade, investment and innovation across the two regions, particularly within the context of, and lead up to the UK and India 2030 Free Trade Agreement.

The high-profile event, which will include a welcome dinner for special guests, is due to attract up to 100 attendees including leading dignitaries, key India influencers and stakeholders, national and local Government along with representatives from universities across Greater Manchester.

The ‘2030 Roadmap’ was announced in May this year as part of an historic commitment made by the British and Indian Prime Ministers to strengthen work between the UK and India over the next decade covering areas such as health, climate, trade, education, science and technology, and defence.

The MIP was established in February 2018 to unite private businesses, academia and the public sector across India and Greater Manchester to build and strengthen trade, investment, cultural, and educational ties.

Simon Arora, Chair, Manchester India Partnership, said:

“ I’m really excited to take up this role as Chairman of MIP. It’s such an integral time in the UK & India’s relationship with the Enhanced Trade Partnership now in place and clear roadmap ahead. India is a strategic market for Greater Manchester and I’m looking forward to leading MIP’s continued success to further strengthen and deepen ties.”

Jo Ahmed, Deputy Chair, Manchester India Partnership, commented:

“ I am delighted to be taking on the role of Deputy Chair of the MIP, working with our esteemed new Chair and Director to drive forward the next chapter in the MIP success story at a time when there is so much focus on the importance UK and India relationship and so much opportunity for us to work together across borders for mutual benefit.”

Shehla Hasan, Director, Manchester India Partnership, commented:

“ This is truly an exciting time for the Manchester India relationship. The UK and India are progressing steadily towards a closer trade and investment relationship through the Enhanced Trade Partnership. In my long experience of working in the UK-India corridor, more recently as the India head of the Confederation of British Industry, I have seen the Manchester India Partnership grow quickly as a strong brand.  I look forward to making this relationship even more robust and sustainable in the long run.”

Tim Newns, Chief Executive, MIDAS, said:

“ India was the third most active inward investor in new projects in Greater Manchester between 2017 and 2020, creating a total of 15 projects and over 792 jobs. Now, with a fantastic new team in place, I am really looking forward to seeing how the Manchester India Partnership can build on this tremendous success, by deepening existing relationships and leveraging new networks and opportunities in the lead up to the 2030 Free Trade Agreement.”

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