Indian business leaders aim to build relationships ahead of biannual international investment summit.
A delegation from Gujarat have recently toured Birmingham to promote India’s westernmost state as an investment destination and to learn more about the West Midlands region, in a bid to develop a bilateral relationship with the UK.
The group, comprising 15 Gujarati business leaders from backgrounds including financial services, life sciences and advanced manufacturing, explored key attractions and areas in Birmingham such as the Jewellery Quarter, Digbeth and Snowhill and found out about the city’s key business sectors.
The delegation was also in the city to promote Vibrant Gujarat, an international investment summit that takes place in India every two years. The summit was established in 2003 to increase investment in Gujarat and has now become a forum for companies around the world to exchange ideas, network and explore potential business opportunities.
B.C. Pradhan, Consulate General of India, who worked with inward investment agency Business Birmingham to organise the visit, said: “The day provided a valuable opportunity to continue our concentrated and co-ordinated efforts to promote economic relationships and establish further ties between Birmingham, the UK and India. It allowed the delegation not only to find out more about Birmingham’s history and culture, but also its key sectors including textiles, renewable energy and manufacturing.”
Nicola Hewitt, Commercial Director of Marketing Birmingham, which operates Business Birmingham, added: “The West Midlands trades goods to the value of £900 million with India each year, exporting about £280 million. The visit offered a chance for the delegation to meet the region’s leading companies, and to understand why Birmingham has a thriving business community. This is part of an ongoing programme of international engagement currently being undertaken by Marketing Birmingham.”
“We were grateful to KPMG and the West Midlands Combined Authority for their role in hosting an afternoon networking event with local businesses, and for ensuring that the day went smoothly.”
Richard Peberdy, Partner at KPMG, said: “We feel aligned with Marketing Birmingham in promoting our region across the UK and the world. A number of my colleagues here are from Gujarat and we were very pleased to have the opportunity to further our ties with India, by promoting economic links through business discussions at our office here at Snow Hill.”
Prior to their Birmingham visit, the Gujarati delegation had visited London and Manchester. The group will be exploring other major UK cities in the coming weeks. Mamta Verma, Industries Commissioner of the Government of Gujarat, who led the delegation, said: “Gujarat is an entrepreneurial state and one of the most industrialised areas in India. We were interested in visiting Birmingham to promote our state as a key investment destination and have had some very useful conversations as we look to partner with cities across the UK to share resources.
“Over 100 countries participated in the biannual Vibrant Gujarat summit in 2015, and we were keen to highlight to Birmingham business leaders just how important next year’s event can be for them.”