UK launches parliamentary panel to bridge trade and investment ties with India

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A crucial step in Post-Brexit era as skills shortage could cost the economy £30-£39bn per year

Gaurav Singh, founder of JPIN, the largest bilateral investment banking platform across UK/India, explains why India could be the key to lift Britain out of its socio-economic slump

In a step further accelerating the strategic collaboration between the UK and India, a new UK parliamentary panel has been created to promote trade, investment, and citizen ties with India. The India (Trade and Investment) All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) was formally registered last week as part of India’s 75th anniversary of independence. The initiative aims to build an inclusive bridge between the two countries while supporting and promoting the India-UK free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations. This is a crucial step in Britain’s post-Brexit era, especially because the country’s skills shortage is likely to cost the economy £30-39 billion a year if no action is taken to source further talent, according to CBI Economics.

Gaurav Singh, founder of the largest bilateral investment banking platform across the two nations, JPIN, explains that the UK and India are fundamentally two pieces of a puzzle that come together to provide mutually beneficial support to one another during a crucial period of economic change in the post-Brexit era. Britain is currently experiencing the worst talent drought on record, which has subsequently stunted business growth across the whole nation. In tandem, India – dubbed as Asia’s Silicon Valley – is home to 25% of the world’s engineers, according to the National Science Foundation. In line with this, the British government’s desire to improve digitalisation and tech expansion will continue to be supported by India’s healthy pool of skilled talent. India’s IT industry currently has over 4.5 million skilled workers and has the potential to achieve up to $350bn in annual revenue by 2025. A partnership between both countries is set to further fortify trade security and one of the biggest talent-based partnership to exist globally.

India’s commerce minister, Piyush Goyal, has announced that India is on track to conclude a long-awaited trade agreement with the UK by October. In an agreement that has been hailed by Downing Street as a “centrepiece of Britain’s post-Brexit economic strategy”, Goyal has stated that 11 of the proposed pact’s 26 chapters were already “dusted and ready”, and will look to be finalised in the next few months.

The UK–India investment relationship is already worth £24bn and supports more than half a million jobs across the UK. Now, both players continue to explore the possibility of an interim agreement to provide quick gains that will benefit businesses on both sides. Britain has already made strides in securing a strategic partnership with India, with a primary focus on cyber security, science and education, and the APPG panel will look to further cement both countries’ reliance on each other.

Gaurav Singh, founder of JPIN, explains why India could be the key to lift Britain out of its socio-economic slump:

“India is one of the world’s largest economies and presents huge potential as a key partner for trade and investment for the UK. India is a 21st century powerhouse and therefore, establishing a solid relationship with the UK in trade, technology and security could be significantly beneficial for both parties. The significance of the relationship between both nations cannot be underestimated.

“Britain has long been a global leader in terms of tech innovation, but it faces one of its toughest challenges currently in terms of a severe skills shortage. In a world where automation and AI are becoming increasingly important, companies need to have access to a large talent pool that can assist in fulfilling these roles. 

“It’s great to see the creation of a new APPG panel with Britain and India, which would see a lot more cross-border partnerships between the two countries, creating jobs, fuelling innovation and above all positively contributing to both economies in a big way. It’s clear that closing this trade deal is a top priority for the government, and there appears to be fewer stumbling blocks as we edge closer to the finish line.

“India is goods and resource-wealth, growing exponentially, and will be the centre of the world trade in the coming decades. Therefore, building a trade and investment relationship here is particularly important to allow the UK to benefit from the immense growth India is already experiencing.

“The APPG panel will also look to ways that could help with small businesses in both countries, especially because the levelling-up agenda is such a pressing matter for the UK government. This will look to help future-proof the economy, and it’s fantastic to see that this, alongside the FTA deal, is coming into fruition.”

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