India’s Foremost Trade & Investment Magazine

The Indian Diaspora: The UK’s unused weapon post-Brexit

Eye on Brexit, UK Edition- April 2018
by Baroness Sandip Verma
Not tapping into the British Indian diaspora, which serves both India and the UK so well, is a missed opportunity.

We often hear of the rich contribution made to the UK by the Indian diaspora, and of the long-standing special relationship between the two countries that has spanned centuries. According to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Asian businesses generate around 10 per cent of the UK’s GDP, whilst Asians only constitute 6 per cent of the population. Furthermore, these businesses are very much the backbone of UK enterprise with over 11 per cent of start-ups coming from the Asian community. The UK was very important for India in the early decades after independence in 1947, and trade with the UK accounted for about one-third of all Indian merchandise exports and imports. However, today, trade between the UK and India stands at a stubbornly underwhelming £5 billion per annum, barely making the UK’s top 20 trading partners. Two-thirds of this is exports from India to the UK and the remainder is exports from the UK to India.