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UK-India deals worth £1bn signed amid crisis

Amid urgent local calls for support over its COVID-19 crisis, the UK has signed a number of investment deals with India that will create new opportunities across a range of industries.

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More than 6,500 new jobs are expected to be created around the UK as a result of the £1 billion package of trade and investment agreements announced between the two countries on 4 May.

The package contains over £533 million of new Indian investment into the UK in areas such as health and technology and low carbon goods. At the same time, British businesses have secured new export deals with more than £446 million, covering a range of goods from drones and surgical equipment to biodegradable materials.

Boris Johnson has also agreed an ‘enhanced trade partnership’ with India’s Prime Minister Modi to unlock further opportunities for cross-investment. It is hoped the partnership will double the value of UK-India trade - currently worth £23 billion - by 2030 and pave the way for a more comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.

Lord Karan Bilimoria, President of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), commented:

“The enhanced trade partnership will usher in a new era of UK-India relations and shows the world the strength of our relationship. As leaders in tech and innovation, this enhanced partnership will unlock opportunities for businesses, boost job creation and growth across the country.”

The government says a future UK-India trade deal would potentially lower or remove tariffs on several key export goods, such as up to 150 per cent on whisky and up to 125 per cent on automotives.

In the meantime, companies are being called on to do all they can to support India, which is currently experiencing the worst COVID-19 emergency the world has seen to date.

The Manchester India Partnership (MIP), which was established in 2018 to develop the city region’s relationship with the country, has launched an urgent call for crisis support.

The MIP is working with the UK-India COVID-19 Taskforce to help source a range of vital medical equipment that Indian authorities require. The list is available on the MIP’s website for businesses that may be able to supply these items.

The organisation has also created a JustGiving page to support the crisis relief effort.

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