India is an attractive proposition for UK businesses looking for alternatives to China, in view of the prevailing sentiments globally, the UK-India Business Council (UKIBC) has said.
In an interview to PTI, UKIBC's first Indian Group CEO Jayant Krishna said he expects to see growth in UK-India trade as both countries come out of the coronavirus crisis, asserting that UK businesses are very keen to support India's 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' mission.
The bilateral trade between the two countries stood at USD 15.5 billion in 2019-20 as against USD 16.87 billion in the previous fiscal. "UK and India have started looking at opportunities emanating from the business sentiments worldwide to explore manufacturing supply chain possibilities as alternatives to China," Krishna said.
He observed that UK industries have long investments in India across sectors and the country is an increasingly attractive proposition for businesses looking to explore alternate destinations for their global supply chain. "Moreover, UK businesses are and will look to India as an incremental base for manufacturing and research and development," the UKIBC Group CEO said.
He said there are great complementarities between India's needs and the UK's offerings and it was very positive to hear that Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the centrality of sectors such as manufacturing, infrastructure, energy, pharma, space and defence, to global cooperation. "These are all areas ripe for India-UK collaboration in creating 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat', underpinned by both nations' strong track-record in technology and innovation," Krishna said.
With the UK forging a new trading relationship with the world into 2021 and India establishing itself as a major global player, India is a key priority for trade and investment of the UK government and businesses, the UKIBC Group CEO stressed. He said the introduction of the UK's new point-based immigration system and Graduate Immigration Route will make it easier for Indians to come to work and study in the UK.
"Accordingly, we expect to see growth in UK-India trade as both countries come out of the coronavirus crisis," Krishna said.