Introduction from Richard Heald, UK India Business Council CEO

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UKIBC 0109It was no coincidence that Theresa May’s first bilateral visit as prime minister was to India. As this visit last November reinforced, there are tremendous opportunities in India for UK businesses.

The UK remains the largest G20 investor in India, and indeed, one in 20 Indians employed in the private sector works for a UK company, and the UK's exports continue to grow, and are growing while those of Germany, France and Italy decline.

These facts and figures demonstrate the strength of the relationship and the strong business eco-system that the UK’s private sector has built in India, and a growing appetite for UK goods and services.

There are a number of factors driving this growing opportunity.

Firstly, the obvious one  –  the fast growth of the Indian economy. With a GDP expanding at 7.2%, India is the world’s fastest growing large economy. By 2030, it will be the third largest, behind only the USA and China.

The Government of India is playing its role in this growth story. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's bold economic reforms such as the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax, demonetisation, and digitisation of the economy are reducing red tape and increasing investment.

India's demographics are also compelling. With 600,000 of its 1.3 billion people under the age of 24, India has the biggest youth population in the world, and these young people are increasingly well educated, ambitious and affluent.

As this youth demographic, and their parents and grandparents, enjoy increasing there is a change in their consumption behaviour, creating a greater demand for white goods, cars, mobile phones, leisure items, travel, education, healthcare, fashion and beauty items, and food and drink. In particular, there is a growing demand for Western brands in all these categories.

Alongside this consumer market, there are a significant number of Indian businesses that want to buy British. Every week, we at the UKIBC find export opportunities – Indian companies wanting to source from the UK.

There is no doubting that India is the UK’s key post-Brexit opportunity.

India matters, with hundreds of millions of affluent people hungry for UK goods and services, and thousands of Indian businesses wanting to import from the UK.

This guide is therefore important, and we at the UK India Business Council are delighted to collaborate on this publication and to be supporting so many UK SMEs to export to India.

Richard Heald
UK India Business Council CEO


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