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Delegation showcasing Northern tech sector in India

Categories: Digital and Technology

Related sectors

Manchester India Partnership

Senior figures from across the North are in India to target tech trade links with the world’s fastest growing economy.

The group, including entrepreneurs, business bosses and civic figureheads, are aiming to showcase Northern expertise in a range of different technologies.

They formed the first high-profile delegation to take advantage of a new direct air link between the North’s international gateway – Manchester Airport – and India, in the form of Jet Airways’ direct service to Mumbai.

During their trip the delegates will look to exploit opportunities for trade and collaboration between India’s fast-growing tech sector and the North’s specialisms in areas such as advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, cyber security, health technology, and fintech.

The synergies between these two parts of the world were highlighted in a special report – ‘The Northern Powerhouse and India: Unlocking the Opportunity’ – which was released to mark the launch of direct flights between Manchester and Mumbai last month.

The delegation will take part in the India-UK FutureTech Festival in Delhi and Mumbai. During the festival, representatives from the North will take part in a series of flagship events involving organisations such as the Confederation of Indian Industry and CBI.

They are part of a UK-wide presence at the event, covering the fields of agritech, creative, healthcare and life sciences, and technology.

International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said: “I’m delighted that businesses are already making the most of the new Manchester to Mumbai flight path. As well as opening up trade and collaboration opportunities for businesses and universities, we hope that the link will also help to drive investment into a wealth of opportunities across the Northern Powerhouse.

“My international economic department has a range of support available to businesses looking to make the most of the new flight route. Support includes finance through our export credit agency, UK Export Finance, and market advice from our in-country HM Trade Commissioner, Crispin Simon.”

Playing a leading role in the visit is Andrew Cowan, chief executive of Manchester Airport and chair of the Manchester-India Partnership (MIP), who will deliver a keynote speech on the power of connectivity at a reception for all UK attendees in Mumbai, as well as representing the region on a range of panels.

He said: “India is one of the world’s most important markets and it is clear there are many opportunities for economic, social and cultural collaboration with the North. Both parts of the world have globally-significant expertise in sectors such as tech and life sciences and the existence of a direct flight service is key to these links being exploited to their full potential.”

Mr Cowan, who will be joined by colleagues from the Manchester India Partnership – including MIDAS, Deloitte, and the Confederation of Indian Industry – on the trip, added: “It is pleasing to see Jet Airways’ Manchester-Mumbai route is already playing a positive role in connecting people and businesses from across the North with India. I am looking forward to outlining the work of the Manchester-India Partnership during this visit and exploring areas for further joint working.”

Around 20 different businesses from across the North are making the trip to the event, with senior delegations from the Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield City Regions.

The Jet Airways service from Manchester to Mumbai launched on November 5, and operates five times a week.

The Unlocking the Opportunity report identified that the economic priorities of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi aligned strongly with the strengths of the North.

It is anticipated that economic benefits valued at least £400m would flow as a result of direct connectivity existing.

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