India’s Minister for Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu called on the country to take up leadership of the Commonwealth economy and introduce dynamism to create wealth, in a press release to UK reporters on January 12, 2018
India’s Minister for Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu called on the country to take up leadership of the Commonwealth economy and introduce dynamism to create wealth, in a press release to UK reporters on January 12, 2018.
The comments followed a meeting with UK International Trade Secretary Liam Fox in which they discussed Commonwealth-related issues and Minister Prabhu confirmed Prime Minister Modi’s attendance at the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in April.
India has the second largest national economy in the Commonwealth, according to the International Monetary Fund.
As Britain prepares to leave the European Union, it has highlighted India as a key country for trade, and the Ministry for Commerce and Industry has created a special cell to negotiate British investment into India.
Prabhu said that New Delhi was also open to talks on the possibility of opening up further markets.
Fox said that UK Export Finance, the national export credit agency, had more than doubled its financial support for UK trade with India, meaning £4.5 billion is now available to UK companies exporting to the Asian country, and to Indian buyers of UK services and goods.
In 2016, the India-UK trade was worth £15.7 billion, with UK exports to India of £5.8 billion.
Whilst UK investment in India rose to £13.2 billion that year, India’s direct foreign investment in the UK was worth £1.5 billion.
Following talks between the UK and Indian Ministers, Prabhu said: “The Commonwealth must create wealth and look at how to promote intra-Commonwealth trade and business.
India as the largest economy must take up its leadership, there is need to put dynamism into the Commonwealth.
“We are friends with both the EU and the UK. We hope they have good relations. We are open to negotiations with anyone.”
Fox said: “For the first time in 40 years, the UK is preparing for its own independent trade policy, and expanding our bilateral trade and investment with India will be central to that task.
“It’s in our shared interest to boost prosperity, generate jobs, develop skills, and enhance the competitiveness of both our countries.
“As an international economic department, we will continue to work closely with the Indian Government to break down the barriers to boosting trade.
“That includes more than doubling trade finance support for UK exporters and Indian buyers of our goods and services.”