#Commonwealth, #UK Edition- April 2018

A leading anti-Brexit voice within the UK political establishment calls for a democratic exit from the EU to firm up closer ties with the Commonwealth.

Some Brexiteers have promoted the Commonwealth as an alternative to membership of the European Union (EU). In truth, the European Union and the Commonwealth are each stronger with Britain playing a leading role in both. And Britain is stronger too. The most effective way to exercise global influence is to remain a member of the largest, borderless single market in the world, with a leading role in its political institutions. As a member of the European Union, we have been able to work with our friends in Europe to bring Commonwealth nations into free trade deals for many years, not least through the African, Caribbean and Pacific Partnership.

#Eye on Brexit, #UK Edition- April 2018

The bilateral relationship between India and UK must not get bogged down by Britain’s impending exit negotiations with the European Union (EU).

As the UK navigates Brexit, Indian investors are entitled to feel a bit confused. Some confusion is inevitable when business’ need for certainty comes up against an international negotiation in which it seems “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”. At the same time, while the detail of Britain’s new relationship with the EU is crucially important, we must also look beyond Brexit at the fundamentals for the UK and India.

#The Big Interview, #Global Edition- March 2018

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, tells ‘India Global Business’ about his determination to keep London as the top choice for Indian talent and businesses.

How would you describe your India visit in December 2017 in terms of closer partnerships struck for the city of London?

The longstanding relationship between Britain and India plays a big role in modern London, and the huge contribution of the Indian community to London’s success over many decades is part of the fibre of our city. It has played a vital role in shaping the culture and economy of our capital.

#India-Uk, #UK Edition - March 2018

Among the best global partners the two countries will find during this transformational phase are each other.

The India-United Kingdom relationship is so old, so multi-faceted and so rich in its cultural, economic and people-to-people dimensions that it would appear that politicians and governments almost don’t matter. Actually, it is upon governments in both countries, and upon us MPs – my British and Indian colleagues and me, in my capacity as co-chair of the India-UK Parliamentary Forum – to build on the partnerships that civil society has already constructed, and to give the India-UK relationship even more of a strategic edge.

#Global Indian, #UK Edition - March 2018

Sanjiv Chadha is the Regional Head for the UK for State Bank of India (SBI), India’s largest state-owned bank. The London-based executive, also Chair of the Association of Indian Banks in the UK, took time out for ‘India Global Business’ to elaborate on SBI’s move from a branch of the Indian entity in Britain into a standalone subsidiary, in line with regulatory requirements, and how the Indian roots of the bank have proved a big asset.

What will the launch of SBI’s UK subsidiary mean for clients and the bank?

We will be launching our UK subsidiary on April 1. This is a process which began nearly two years ago. We have had our retail presence in the UK and now, what was earlier a part of State Bank of India, will become a UK incorporated banking entity.

#Putting it in context, #UK Edition - March 2018

Businesses, the diaspora and policy powerhouses will all need to work in tandem to build lasting UK-India ties, writes India Inc. Founder & CEO Manoj Ladwa.

This year, there is an important chance to reassess the strength of India’s bond with the UK and show the world that India is a bridge-building nation.

It is just over a year until the UK reaches its Article 50 deadline and leaves the European Union (EU). UK economic growth is beating all forecasts and UK manufacturing has never had a higher output than it did at the tail end of 2017. This will come as a relief to policy-makers, as Brexit’s biggest mountains are still to be tackled.

When UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson delivered the first of a number of Brexit speeches from senior Cabinet figures last month, he put forward his vision of Brexit liberating the UK to create its own trade rules and expand into new markets where the EU has previously “held it back”.

Boris’ ‘Liberal Brexit’ outline may not have raised the stakes since Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech in January 2017, where the British Prime Minister asserted the need to honour the referendum result by making a clear break from the EU, the Customs Union and the Single Market. But he has put pressure on the Prime Minister to make her position clearer, for the benefit of all of those around the world with business interests in the UK, who want to keep up to speed on the negotiations.

Averting a cliff-edge

The EU27 nations are, as a bloc, headed to be one of the top four major economies, joining China, the US and India, in a decade’s time. India’s ties with Europe are strong and will grow even more valuable. How will the UK figure in all of this?

The EU27 are concerned that the UK could aim to undercut the EU by drastically shedding environmental, labour, and trading regulations in order to trade more with other nations.

However, the likelihood is that there will be some regulatory alignment on goods. This will go some way to alleviating the problem of a hard land border at Northern Ireland, and will reduce the threat of trade tariffs being levied and non-tariff barriers being imposed at vital trade ports.

Whether the UK strikes such a deal or not, the uplift of global growth will provide the UK with a cushion on which to land as it steps off the Brexit cliff. And Brexit will allow the UK to set its own tariffs on trade in services, the area where the EU-India free trade agreement (FTA) failed. There is a long way to go before all barriers to UK-India free trade are overcome and we need to determine the parameters soon.

Those who trade and invest in the UK will need reassurance that the UK will remain open and welcoming to the labour force and talent that it needs. A rapid reversal of EU migration to the UK would bring a cloud over a number of fast-growing sectors. New entrants are needed in the tech sector, manufacturing and engineering, and across the board in cities like London.

Mobility of professionals

The UK still has a tiered visa system and the number of applicants still hits the cap, month after month, showing there is no shortage of applicants for skilled work. Nasscom estimates that there are about 30,000 Indians working under the Tier 2 visa regime – in every sector from technology to food – but there is clearly scope to increase the freedom of movement between the UK and India after Brexit.

What is clear is that such initiatives to create closer ties between the UK and India are just as important as the Brexit negotiations, which will reach a crunch point this Summer. The two discussions need to happen in parallel.


UK-India Week

The fifth annual UK-India Leadership Conclave will take place during UK-India Week this year, a showcase of all that we stand to gain by making the best of the UK-India partnership.

After Brexit, the UK will have a new place on the world stage, but its old partners will be even more important. We will have a vital chance to radically renew the UK-India bond, but businesses, the diaspora and policy powerhouses will all need to be involved for us to build lasting ties.

Manoj Ladwa is the founder of India Inc. and chief executive of MLS Chase Group @manojladwa

#April 2017, #UK/Europe, #COMMONWEALTH, #Special Edition – May 2017, #INDIA-UK, #December 2017

A London-based policy expert weighs up the challenges and opportunities thrown up by Brexit to strike a stronger India-UK dynamic.

Talk of Brexit is never far from the headlines in the UK press. Theresa May triggering Article 50 signaled the start of the process. This presents significant challenges and opportunities for Commonwealth countries, with India being a prime example.

New research from my organisation, the Royal Commonwealth Society, reveals an overwhelming majority of British businesses want to see the Government prioritise trade deals with the Commonwealth. It is significant that nearly three quarters of all UK businesses want an Indian trade deal.

#February 2017, #Hotspot, #INDIA-EU, #December 2017

With Brexit around the corner, one of Britain’s neighbours is making a play for Indian investments as a member of the European Union (EU).

Ireland has a strong proposition for any company choosing to do business in Europe. A part of the European Union (EU), the country’s impressive offering includes large and small companies, MNCs and indigenous companies, universities and research institutes in the technology, ICT, life-sciences, financial services and advanced manufacturing sectors.

#UK/EU, #INDIA-UK, #August 2017, #December 2017

Abhishek Lodha is the Managing Director of the Lodha Group, a Mumbai-headquartered developer which made its global foray with high-profile projects in the UK. ‘India Global Business’ caught up with him to get an update on this international vision, plans for the group’s luxury London developments and the Brexit effect on the property market.


What was the motivation behind the Lodha Group’s expansion to the UK?


We started in London in December 2013, early 2014 and the idea was to establish a business which builds on our success and learnings in India and allows us to operate as an Indian multinational by operating in one of the most competitive, most expensive as well as the highest quality markets in the world.


Over the last three years, we are developing two of London’s most prestigious developments – No. 1 Grosvenor Square, which was the Canadian High Commission and before that the American Embassy, and Lincoln Square, which is just off London School of Economics next to the Royal Courts of Justice. What we are trying to do is truly world-class quality. We have put in a lot of effort and money into the design, into the marketing content, brought in the best names from across the UK as well as internationally.

#INDIA-UK, #Special Edition – May 2017

As many as 800 Indian companies in the UK generated £47.5 billion in combined revenues in 2016 and contributed significantly to Brexit-bound UK’s economic growth outlook, a new report reveals.

The ‘India meets Britain Tracker 2017’, released annually by professional services major Grant Thornton in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), has found that Indian companies employ around 110,000 employees in the UK and last year had a combined capital expenditure of £4.25 billion.