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High Commissioner's address at the India-Scotland Business Summit held in Edinburgh

India-Scotland Business Summit Address by High Commissioner on India-UK Economic Relations with special reference to Ties with Scotland. Edinburgh Castle :24 August 2015

1) It is an appropriate time for holding this Conference as India is reaching out to partners across the globe, big and small, whether advanced or developing in search for enhanced relationships which could help in transformation of India.

2) India is now very large part of the world’s trend towards globalization. Our global trade which was around 20% of GDP in 1991 (when reforms began) has now grown to almost 50% of a GDP which is at least 5-6 times larger. Indians are increasingly tied to world economic and trade trends. This has benefited us enormously and accelerated rates of growth have become possible.

3) The overall thrust of our policy is to look for trade and markets, for financial flows and investment, technology and industrial resources. I believe UK can contribute in every one of these fields, and this is true of Scotlandin particular.

4) The Indian economy is now already back on a high growth trajectory with 7.3 % growth being projected for the current fiscal. The last budget has combined elements of fiscal responsibility and deficit reduction along with measures to kick-start the investment cycle.

5) India has now become one of the top 10 global destinations for FDI and is regarded favourably by global investors. Measures to liberalize FDI rules, and improve the Ease of Doing Business in India have begun to make an impact. In April 2015 FDI flows surged more than 100% year-on-year, and have been consistently showing high rates of growth.

6) We are aware of some continued problems over infrastructure, legacy issues on tax etc., but the overall trend is positive as perceived by global investor community.

7) The UK and India attach high priority to building closer relations. Our PMs met during the G-20 Summit in November last year and Mr. Cameron said “relations with India are at the top of priority of UK’s foreign policy”.

8) UK has enthusiastically involved itself with India’s flagship programmes:-

i. Make in India campaign of our PM is being linked to UK’s GREAT collaborations;

ii. Skills India has received many responses from skill providers in the UK in the private sector, including some from Scotland. Our two governments are now engaged for enhanced dialogue.

iii. Digital India and economic corridors hold out promise for collaborations. The Bengaluru-Mumbai Economic Corridor is in its final consultations phase and will provide a great boost when it takes off; Scotland will certainly be able to benefit.

iv. Infrastructure development is being supported by the supported by the financial community based out of UK (not just London but here too).

v. Clean Ganga and Swachch Bharat also have links with UK. Scotland has many companies with capabilities for water management. We have heard today about some of these companies. Just yesterday I also met a representative from the James Hutton Institute which is working in India on water related issues.

vi. Two-way flows of investment : UK is third largest investor in India and first among G-20 countries. Investments of $22 billion were recorded during the last 15 years.

vii. India continues to be one of the largest source market for FDI projects in UK. There are 800 Indian owned businesses employing 100,000 people.

Ties with Scotland

With this background let me now specifically move to the state of play between India and Scotland.

A. We recognise that Scottish government has over the last five years attached particular importance to relations with India, focusing on tourism, trade and investment, education and cultural links.

B. The promising areas are:

a) Education, Science and Knowledge based industries

Prospects of cooperation in Life Sciences with India:-

-The life science represents a $4 billion industry in India, projected to reach $8 billion by 2015.

-India is ranked amongst the top12 biotech destinations in the world.

-The pharmaceutical industry in India is valued at US $12 billion and is expected to grow to US $ 55 billion by 2020.

-India is a major destination for generic drug manufacture. For India and people of Scotland building stronger links in field of medicine and pharma is like a rediscovery. It bears retelling that some of the first Indians who studied medicine abroad actually came here to Edinburgh!

-Opportunities lie in the areas of medical technology and diagnostics, bioinformatics, drug discovery, stem cells and regenerative medicine.

b) Science – more generally is an area of active cooperation between our academics and researchers, and we can translate these links into business opportunities.

-Opportunities also lie in the areas of IT Products & Services, E-commerce, Gaming and Animation, IT Education, E-Healthcare, Big data management, electronics, cyber security, advanced engineering, aerospace, marine and defence.

-These opportunities can be developed through institution to institution linkages (faculty development/exchange, joint research), skills development, corporate training, continuous professional development (CPD) courses, teacher training.

c) Food & Drink–These are areas of great strength for Scotland. As India gets globalised there will be scope to work both with Indian importers of quality food and drink and with the food processing industry.

- Opportunities lie in the areas of:-

-Premium food - packaged food and seafood.

-on-line retail

-The area in which collaboration could be built include fruits, fish and meat, dairy products, and of course whisky!

C. It is estimated that Indian companies have already invested over £100 million in Scotland. Companies linked to the economy here include the giant TATAs, TCS, Piramal Healthcare; the steelwire maker USHA Martin; and software companies; Infosys and Axsys Technology, Aegis.

D. Scottish businesses have been significant investors in India with Cairn Energy and DIAGEO among the best known. RBS had a sizeable presence in India; Standard Life have formed a joint venture and are well placed to take advantage of the opening of the insurance sector in India for greater FDI.

E. Other Scottish investments in India include that of SgurrEnergy an engineering consultancy firm specialising in renewable energy with its office in Pune; Weir Group’s acquisition of valve division of BDK Engineering Industries in India; architecture and design firm RMJM Architects involvement in 40 projects in Delhi and Kolkata. Touch Bionics for marketing of bionic hands in India; Menzies Aviation cargo handling services at Bangalore and ground handling services at Hyderabad airports and; Aggreko with its acquisition of power rental business of Cummins India. In addition, several Scottish oil and gas companies, like Wood Group, Clyde Pumps, Petrofac, PSN, SGS Waterweights KBR and Selex Galileo, are active in India.

F. Recent Scottish investments in 2014:- A joint venture between Perthshire-based This-Tel with India-based IT firm Crane Global Solutions has been formed for marketing the digital pens of This-Tel in India which permits handwritten information to be scanned and transmitted to a central server. Moreover a joint venture between Edinburgh-based Dryden Aqua and SVS Aqua of India has also been formed for marketing the Scottish water filter media in India. In August, 2014, Exova Group acquired Metallurgical Services Private Limited of Mumbai, for metallurgical testing for oil & gas, industrial and infrastructure sectors in India.

G. Total investment by Scottish enterprises is estimated at £1.1 billion.

H. Total trade is estimated at about £380-400 million; which suggests that there is enormous scope for expansion.

I. Scotland has a historic connection with India. Companies headquartered in Scotland were among the giants present in India during the imperial period. There is wealth of knowledge and old connections which can be utilized particularly in cities like Kolkata. Dundee cannot become a jute processing centre again!; but the areas we have identified of high technology, food and drinks and services certainly hold out good prospects for investors all across Scotland.

J. I will be making my first trip to the Highlands and to the Orkney Islands tomorrow. I believe there is a unique opportunity to cash in on the immense two-way tourist potential. We are a nation now becoming interested in golf, and are enjoying the great outdoors. And of course we have history, geography and climate – which would be of interest to tourists living in these cold climes.

K. Culture and education are also an important part of our relationship and the ties between our Universities have proved immensely beneficial. We hope that Scotland continues to welcome Indian students in this country. With the CII and other partners, we in the government look forward to strengthening ties and building a new future for our two countries.

Thank you.

Sep 1, 2015
 
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