Business Wire IndiaAhead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, UK, a programme of events designed to bolster further trade and investment between India, the West Midlands and the UK has been announced. The virtual programme, scheduled to take place during the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay in India (January 12-15) will bring together political leaders, Indian investors, West Midlands, UK and Indian business leaders, as well as international cultural icons, all to mark the Commonwealth Games as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to advance shared economic ambitions.
As part of the programme, a virtual showcase will be held, where key names from across the Indian business, tourism and cultural landscape can hear from UK government stakeholders, including Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to the Republic of India and Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands. Discussions will build on the UK-India Enhanced Trade Partnership, unlocking new opportunities for British businesses exporting to India and Indian businesses investing in the UK.
The UK government’s Department for International Trade (DIT) in partnership with the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), will host an online high-level roundtable connecting UK and Indian business leaders. The event provides a forum to convene cross-market dialogue on the major trade opportunity in the future mobility sector – a prominent focus of the West Midlands’ Local Industrial Strategy and represent an opportunity for increasing two-way trade and investment within the existing West Midlands-India corridor.
The Queen’s Baton is travelling to all 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth over 294 days, connecting communities, business and embracing cultures across the globe. During the four-day visit, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), which is also the Commonwealth Games Association for India, will host events that showcase inspiring individuals striving for change in their community.
Activity marking the arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay in India is just part of a series of engagement between the West Midlands and India running up until 2023 and beyond. Indian businesses and investors will be invited to the West Midlands during the Games followed by a mayoral-led delegation to India in Autumn 2022 to promote opportunities for bilateral trade and investment. Key strategic focus areas will include Tech & Creative, Professional Services, Future Mobility and the Data Driven Healthcare sectors.
The West Midlands and India already benefit from strong business links, with 57% of Indian investment into the UK in 2020 made in the West Midlands. The region is home to 76 recorded Indian FDIs worth more than £3.5bn in the future mobility, creative technologies and modern business service sectors, employing over 13,000 people. The region’s strong business offer has already attracted some of India’s biggest companies, including Tata Motors, State Bank of India, Infosys, OLA, Enzen Global, Suprajit Group, Elder Pharmaceuticals and more recently, BSA and Microland.
Dave Owen, Executive Director – Global Purchasing and Supply Chain at Jaguar Land Rover, said, “We are immensely proud to be both a member of the Tata family and a renowned global organisation in our own right, with our roots proudly in the West Midlands. The region is the hub of our international technology, engineering, R&D and manufacturing footprint, thanks to its enviable pool of specialist talent, excellent connectivity and transport links and highly capable industrial ecosystem.”
“The wider economic and social advantages of nurturing strong relationships with India are compelling. Trade and investment create growth, jobs and regional prosperity, while close ties forged with Indian business enable greater UK access to some of the world’s leading players in technology, communication and software – which in turn benefit from the deep industrial expertise and innovation capability, for which the West Midlands is well known.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands said, “The West Midlands is the UK’s leading location for attracting FDI outside of London, with a number of India’s biggest names in the automotive, manufacturing and financial services sectors choosing to locate their UK operations here. The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games provides a real opportunity for the UK and India to build on these strong economic ties, as well as celebrate the region’s vast Indian heritage, with a ‘living bridge’ of nearly 200,000 ethnic Indians who live and work in the West Midlands. I look forward to addressing the Indian business community during the virtual events programme, celebrating the Queen’s Baton Relay arrival arriving in India, and showcasing all that the West Midlands has to support businesses and investors looking to grow their international footprint.”
Alan Gemmell, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for South Asia, said, “I’m delighted that in the week the Secretary of State for International Trade is in Delhi to launch the comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations, the West Midlands continues to deepen its relationship with India. UK India trade in 2020 reached £18bn, with the West Midlands exporting goods and services worth £318m. Through our FTA and our support for business across the UK, we aim to double trade with India by 2030. 2022 will be a pivotal year for the UK India relationship. This summer’s Commonwealth Games will serve as an excellent backdrop and facilitate stimulating opportunities to celebrate the West Midlands-India relationship.”
The online events have been organised as part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Business and Tourism Programme (BATP), designed to attract visitors, trade, events and investment into Birmingham, the West Midlands and the UK from nations and territories across the Commonwealth, including India.
With an economy worth £105bn, the West Midlands region includes three thriving cities – Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton, with Birmingham home to more international companies than any other major English city outside London. In 2019, the West Midlands generated an export value of £32 billion – the largest region by value outside of London and the Southeast.
Harjinder Kang, Director Cross-cutting, Intellectual Property, Procurement and Indian Negotiations, Department for International Trade, said, “As the Queen’s Baton Relay arrives in India, The Department for International Trade is delighted to be representing the ambition and rich innovation within the West Midlands to the Indian business community, in our most dynamic and thriving sectors. The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and the Business and Tourism Programme is a landmark occasion and is aiming to create £7million of additional export deals and secure up to £900 million of new overseas investment into the West Midlands and UK, with our international partners by 2027.”
Indian investors in the West Midlands – case studies:
Tata Motors – India’s largest automobile company and owner of JLR
Tata Motors, India’s largest vehicle manufacturer, acquired British company Jaguar Land Rover in 2008. Headquartered in Coventry, UK, Jaguar Land Rover has firmly established the West Midlands as the engine of its operations, through a network of production units and research facilities.
Jaguar Land Rover recently announced its new global strategy, Reimagine, a sustainability-rich reimagination of modern luxury, unique customer experiences, and positive societal impact. It marks the start of the company’s journey to become a net zero carbon business by 2039. Jaguar will be reimagined as an all-electric luxury brand from 2025 and Land Rover will welcome six pure electric variants over the next five years, as it continues to be the world leader of luxury SUVs. All Jaguar and Land Rover nameplates will be available in pure electric form by the end of the decade.
TVS Motors – acquired iconic British motorcycle brand Norton
January 2021 saw Indian manufacturer TVS Motors announce a multi-million investment to relocate the UK Headquarters of subsidiary Norton Motorcycles to a new state-of-the-art facility in Solihull, West Midlands. The investment followed prior acquisition of the iconic British motorcycle marque by TVS Motors in April 2020. The premises will be the most advanced and modern plant for Norton in its 122-year history and the central hub of the brand’s operations. Providing a permanent base for all staff, the new headquarters will be home to design, engineering, purchasing, sales, marketing, and support teams as well as the skilled production team that is resuming manufacture of motorcycles. The company’s decision was inspired by the region’s internationally renowned cluster of automotive expertise, which is responsible for a third of all production in the UK.
Infosys BPM – a global business process management subsidiary of Infosys Ltd.
Infosys offers integrated end-to-end outsourcing and transformational benefits to clients through reduced costs, productivity improvement, and process re-engineering.
Headquartered in India, Infosys BPM operates across the globe and has recently set up a UK based delivery centre in the heart of the West Midlands. The Rubery-based office employs roughly 150 UK employees and 45 Pune based employees and has been instrumental in establishing a core footprint for Infosys BPM within the UK.
Focused on innovation and transformation, the Birmingham Delivery Centre is committed to developing and contributing significantly to the shared service networks across the UK by establishing close links with several shared service forums and bodies.