India and the United Kingdom share a modern partnership bound by strong historical ties. Since 2000, the UK has been one of the leading G20 investor in India with an investment of $27.64 bn. The number of UK businesses in India has more than doubled since 2000, and the range of sectors attracting investment from the UK has seen strong growth in education, retail, consumer goods, life sciences, healthcare and infrastructure.
Major UK Investors
The UK – India Startup Launchpad was launched at the UK techXchange in September 2019. The Launchpad enables startups, investors, incubators, and entrepreneurs of both countries to connect with one another and provides them with resources to expand and become globalized start-ups.
During the visit of the Indian Prime Minister to the UK in November 2015, PMs of both the countries agreed to hold biennial PM-level summits to enhance the partnership and agreed on a new Defence and International Security Partnership.
During the British Prime Minister's visit to India in November 2016, the two countries signed agreements pertaining to Ease of Doing Business to share best practices and cooperation in the field of intellectual property rights.
In April 2018, both the countries decided to launch an India-UK Tech Alliance, set up a UK-India Tech Hub, enhance UK-India Tech Cluster Partnerships and collaborate on AI and digital healthcare in India’s District Mental Health Programme.
The UK joined the India-backed International Solar Alliance in April 2018 during PM Modi’s visit to the UK. This is a resolve to help over a billion poor people gain access to clean and sustainable energy.
The UK is the 6th largest investor in India, having invested $28.2 bn between April 2000 and March 2020. This represents 6% of the total FDI inflow in India during this period. The bilateral trade from April 2019 to February 2020 stood at $14.5 bn, with imports from the UK amounting to $6.3 bn and exports worth $8.2 bn.
Southern states of India received 67% of the cumulative UK investments between September 2017 and August 2018. Of the total number of UK-based companies investing in India, 38% invested in Karnataka, 36% invested in Maharashtra 36% and 29% invested in Tamil Nadu.
Around 79% of the UK companies in India are subsidiaries, while 21% work with local partners through JVs. Also, nearly 49% of the UK companies export from India, of which 56% are from the manufacturing sector and 44% are from the services sector.
A survey conducted by Grant Thornton and Confederation of British Industry found that the UK companies generated indirect employment for 419,370 employees in India. The manufacturing sector had the highest number of indirect employees (252,400), followed by the services sector (166,120) and the trading sector (850).
Cultural ties between the UK and India go back to 1600s when The East India Company was formed to undertake trade between Tudor England and Mughal India. The two countries have continued to share strong cultural ties.
Scotland has a rich historical connection with Kolkata in particular, as well as a long-standing relationship with Indian artists, chiefly through festivals such as the Rajasthan International Folk Festival, the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe and Celtic Connections.
In 2017, the Queen of the UK launched the UK-India Year of Culture to mark cultural ties between the UK and India.
Johnson Matthey is setting up an automotive component manufacturing facility in Haryana with an investment potential of INR 1,050 Cr and an employment potential of 250 people. JM India proposes to augment capacity by building a new plan in NCR to get the maximum advantage of proximity to the clients and support from the existing plant at IMT Manesar.
BP has recently announced acquiring 49% in RIL’s Petroleum retail business at $1 bn. There is also a plan to increase retail outlets from the present level of 1,400 to 5,500.
Shell India, subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell acquired 100% of Hazira Port and LNG venture allowing Shell to build an integrated gas value chain: supply from its global LNG portfolio, regasification at the Hazira facility, and downstream customer sales. It further enables Shell to contribute to India’s long-term need for more and cleaner energy solutions.
BP plans to invest $2 bn in India upstream ventures over next few years. In the past 7 years, BP has invested more than $8 bn in India, with over $7 bn invested in exploration and production. With its partner Reliance Industries (RIL), BP also plans to produce 10% of India’s total gas demand by 2022.
Trent Hypermarket, a 50:50 JV between Tata and British retailer Tesco, plans to open 50 retail stores in Hyderabad in the next 2-3 years apart from setting up a distribution centre. The expansion is part of the 200 stores planned for Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
British brand Marks & Spencer (M&S) today reaffirmed its commitment to growing its joint venture business with Reliance Retail in India and expects to continue opening 10 new stores annually. M&S also plans to grow its reach across the country via online fashion platforms.
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