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Visit of Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon'ble Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Government of India for the 10th India-UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) Meeting in London on January 19-20, 2015

Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon'ble Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Government of India participated in the 10thIndia-UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) meeting in London on January 19-20, 2015.Hon'ble Minister led the Indian delegation which included Shri Dammu Ravi, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Shri Atul Chaturvedi, Joint Secretary, Department of Industry Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Shri R P Singh, Director, Ministry of Commerce and Shri Ashish Chatterjee, Private Secretary to the Hon'ble Minister.

Rt Hon Vince Cable, UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills led the UK side for the 10th India-UK JETCO meeting. The meeting saw both industry and government come together for productive discussions in the three Working Groups constituted on the themes of Education& Skill Development, Smart Cities and Technological Collaboration, Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering. The two Ministers attended the JETCO plenary session where the outcomes of the discussions held by the three working groups were presented by the respective co-chairs.

The Education and Skill Development Working Group agreed to focus on six on-going areas - industry interfacing, integration of vocational skills in education, capacity building, action research, cross sectoral collaboration and the skills fund. Mutual recognition of qualifications and creation of structured pathways between institutions and levels, framework to framework mapping, the India-UK Skills Pledge and centres of excellence were also taken forward as specific action points. The Smart Cities Working Group agreed to focus on the Infrastructure Finance; exploring a model which empowers the local authority while exploiting opportunities presented by carbon reduction; Good governance and best practice standards as applied to smart city frameworks; arrange a follow up business to business workshop in India to look more closely at the key themes and issues that have emerged around integrated planning and sectors in a nominated city/town, using real life examples; Work with the education and skills working group to identify skills gaps and mobilise skills training providers and higher education institutions to address the skills gap. The Technological Collaboration, Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Working Group agreed to expand the Tool Rooms initiative, develop and deploy training programs in system engineering and design through government, academia and industry linkages.

The Hon'ble Minister and the UK Secretary of State agreed to a regular and on-going dialogue, including meetings of the Working Groups over the next year, in order to implement the outcomes of JETCO in support of future UK-India collaboration. It was decided that a meeting at official level will be held to review the progress before the next edition of JETCO in New Delhi in 2016. The Hon'ble Minister and the UK Secretary focused on building on the £17.5bn bilateral trade in goods and services in 2013 through enhanced UK and Indian business led collaboration, existing examples of which are highlighted by the “GREAT Collaboration's” campaign, as well as opportunities presented by Government of India's ‘Make in India' programme, better market access for UK and Indian firms and improvements to the business environment in both countries.

On the side-lines of the 10th India-UK JETCO, the Hon'ble Minister and the UK Secretary of State held bilateral discussions, where a number of issues of mutual concern to India and UK with regard to the India-UK economic relationship were discussed.

During her visit, the Hon'ble Minister participated in the event titled “Strengthening India-UK Business Partnerships” hosted by the High Commission of India, London and the UK India Business Council on January 19, 2015 in London. Mr Nick Boles, UK Minister of State for Skills and Equalities represented the UK Government at the event. Shri Ranjan Mathai, High Commissioner to the UK and Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt, Chair, UK India Business Council also participated in the event. The event was well attended by over180 senior level representatives from both India and UK corporate houses as well as FICCI and CII led industry delegations from India. During her address, Hon'ble Minister said that India is the place to do business as the country has been witnessing GDP growth of over 5 per cent. Hon'ble Minister also highlighted the major steps taken by the Government of India to improve the ease of doing business in India.

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Jan 19, 2015
 
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