The long-established relationship between South Yorkshire and India was strengthened this week at a prestigious Round Table event hosted by the Indian High Commission in London. Keynote speakers at the event were the High Commissioner of India to the UK, Ms Gaitri Issar Kumar, South Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis MP MBE and Richard Stubbs, Chair of the South Yorkshire India Advisory Board.
The event focused on the opportunities for more South Yorkshire businesses to export to and establish a presence in India, and for more Indian businesses to trade with and invest in South Yorkshire.
Mayor Dan Jarvis spoke about how he welcomed the India High Commissioner’s support for South Yorkshire. He explains: “This was a very positive and timely discussion for South Yorkshire, in light of the Free Trade Agreement currently being negotiated between the UK and Indian governments. India is such an important trade and investment partner for the UK and in South Yorkshire there are tremendous opportunities for our businesses in key areas such as advanced manufacturing, healthcare and digital to increase their engagement with India.”
He adds: “We are proud to be working so closely and collaborating with India’s business and Government leaders, as part of enhancing trade relationships which are mutually beneficial. Establishing our South Yorkshire India Advisory Board is a key part of our commitment.”
South Yorkshire LEP Board Member Richard Stubbs gave an overview of the key assets in South Yorkshire, such as the Advanced Manufacturing Park, ARMC, AWRC, Doncaster Sheffield Airport and the Olympic Legacy Park and the benefits of locating a business here. He discussed how the recently established South Yorkshire India Advisory Board plans to further enhance awareness of South Yorkshire’s India Programme and the mutual benefits it brings to both countries. The South Yorkshire India Advisory Board includes representatives from Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield, the Olympic Legacy Park, AMRC, the local Chambers, as well as key businesses and stakeholder contacts in South Yorkshire and India. After this a video was shown which gave an introduction to the South Yorkshire region and the benefits for those who choose to live, work, study and invest here.
The event was moderated by Kevin McCole, Managing Director from UK India Business Council (UKIBC) and final concluding comments were given by Rachel Clark, Director of Trade & Investment at South Yorkshire MCA.
UKIBC’s Kevin McCole said: “It is clear from the discussion today – from what Mayor Jarvis, the High Commissioner, and the brilliant Indian businesses all said – that there are real and un-tapped opportunities to grow South Yorkshire – India trade and investment flows. South Yorkshire has huge amounts to offer Indian companies, not least the talent and technology they are looking for to help them grow. And India has huge amounts to offer South Yorkshire businesses, not least a large and fast growing market that is becoming ever-more easy to enter due to pro-business reforms being made across the country.”
The Round Table closely follows the announcement by India’s largest private sector company Reliance Industries that it has acquired Sheffield based Faradion Ltd. This investment is expected to grow jobs in South Yorkshire whilst opening new sites in India, creating growth and value in both countries.
South Yorkshire MCA is planning a trade mission to India later in the year, with a reciprocal visit back to South Yorkshire by India’s business and civic leaders from the Maharashtra region. The UK’s High Commissioner to India is expected to visit South Yorkshire in March when she will be hosted at a number of key businesses and locations in the region.
The South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, which operates its India Growth Champions Scheme, in association with the UK India Business Council, has also seen strong demand recently from this region’s businesses for support and guidance with increasing exports to India. In total, there are 447 businesses in South Yorkshire that currently export to India.
Experts predict that India will be the third largest economy in the world by 2030. In 2015, South Yorkshire exported £81m worth of goods to India – making it the region’s 12th largest trading partner. In 2017, South Yorkshire MCA introduced the strategy: ‘Make in India, Design and Develop with the South Yorkshire Region’. Since then, the relationship between South Yorkshire and India has grown and developed and has been able to open up greater trading opportunities.
Trading with countries such as India is expected to help South Yorkshire businesses to recover from the Coronavirus lockdown, with international trade expected to be a key factor in driving forward future growth and prosperity in the region.
To find out more about how South Yorkshire works with India, visit https://scrinvest.com/how-we-help/working-with-india/
For more details about the South Yorkshire region, visit www.southyorkshire-ca.gov.uk.
About the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority
We are the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA).
Led by Mayor of South Yorkshire Dan Jarvis, we bring together the local authorities of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield and the private sector through our Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
The Mayor, MCA and LEP have a shared purpose to create a stronger, greener, fairer South Yorkshire. We work together to unlock the potential of our people, businesses and places and ensure they prosper.
Our Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) provides the blueprint for how we will transform our region. We will keep people and businesses moving and help them grow, delivering a world-class public transport network and attracting investment to create a stronger, greener, fairer South Yorkshire by 2040.
Our vision is to grow an economy that works for everyone. We will develop inclusive and sustainable approaches that build on our strengths in innovation and embrace the UK’s 4th Industrial Revolution, to contribute more to the country’s prosperity and enhance quality of life for all.
We have powers and resources, devolved from Westminster to South Yorkshire, which mean we can take decisions locally about our economy, transport, skills, housing and infrastructure.
We use these to create a vibrant, thriving South Yorkshire where people want to live and work.
We attract new investment to our region. We build the conditions for inclusive economic growth which benefits everyone. We help create good jobs, by backing businesses to grow, invest and locate in South Yorkshire.
We support people so they have the training and skills to find work, remain in work or progress in work. We help businesses secure the skills they need to be more productive and grow.