India-UK ties to touch new high post COVID: Report

According to the Britain Meets India report by CII and Grant Thornton Bharat, FDI inflow from the UK to India for a particular year rose from $898 million in 2015-16 to $1.42 billion in 2019-20.
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India-UK bilateral relations will touch a new high in the post-COVID world, as India is likely to be a priority country for the UK, leading to an enhanced economic partnership, says a report.

According to the Britain Meets India report, developed by CII and Grant Thornton Bharat, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow from the UK to India for a particular year increased from $898 million in 2015-16 to $1.42 billion in 2019-20.

Sandeep Chakravorty, Joint Secretary (Western Europe) at the Ministry of External Affairs, said that besides a free trade agreement, mobility, and an interim trade deal, the government is working on a 10-year 360 degree road map to strengthen its relationship with the UK. He added that investments in India's clean energy sector are expected to come from the UK.

Pallavi Joshi Bakhru, Partner and India-UK Corridor Leader at Grant Thornton Bharat LLP, said: "Our research identified 572 UK companies in India with a combined turnover of around Rs 3,390 billion, tax payment of around Rs 173 billion, and employing 416,121 people directly. This reflects the important contribution made by the UK companies to the Indian economy as a key ally in India's growth story."

The list of fastest growing UK companies in India includes Dyson Technology, Aviva Life Insurance, Diageo IndiaBusiness Services, RMD Kwikform, and FMC Technologies, says the report.

The list of top 20 UK companies by revenue includes Vedanta Capital, Vodafone, Hindustan Unilever, and United Spirits India. G4S Group, Vedanta Resources, and HSBC Holdings feature in the 'top UK employers in India'.

Among Indian states, Maharashtra is the top investment destination for UK companies, followed by Haryana, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Karnataka.

Moreover, industrial and business services are top sectors being eyed by UK firms.

Gaitri Issar Kumar, High Commissioner of India to UK, said: "The governments of both India and the UK are committed to an enhanced trade partnership. We are developing a road map to a free trade agreement with an ambitious target of £100 billion by 2030."

Alex Ellis CMG, High Commissioner of UK to India, said both India and the UK must think about coming together to create a global impact. Both the economies will have to create a lot of jobs in the next decade and build back in a more sustainable way.

For the purpose of the report, CII and GT Bharat identified 572 companies incorporated in India that are owned or controlled directly or indirectly from the UK.

Additional benchmarks were an annual turnover of more than Rs 500 million, year-on-year revenue growth of at least 10 per cent and a minimum two-year track record of filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in India.

Edited by Lena Saha