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#History: Manchester business summit to set out India strategy

The British government has made no secret of its enthusiasm to engage with the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a bid to tap into India’s vast economic potential.

And now, individual UK cities are getting in on the act.

Greater Manchester is organizing a major business summit which kicks off on Wednesday and coincides with the fourth Test match between England and India.

The two-day summit will host delegates from more than 40 Indian companies with the objective of building stronger bilateral trade relationships between India and Manchester, the world’s first industrialized city and one which has attracted Indian businesses and thousands of workers from the sub-continent for decades.

The event is supported by the UK India Business Council (UKIBC), VisitEngland, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and the Manchester Investment Development Agency Service (MIDAS) among others.

Patricia Hewitt, Chair of UKIBC said: “I’m delighted that UKIBC are working with Greater Manchester, to not only highlight the opportunities for collaboration between the region and India, but to bring businesses from both sides and a range of sectors together to develop key areas of cooperation.”

“Greater Manchester is one of the UK’s most dynamic and innovative urban areas, with exceptional strengths in the life sciences, education, digital innovation and manufacturing sectors. These are not only key areas of growth and opportunity for the Indian economy, but are areas where India holds real expertise, and a partnership with foundations in these sectors holds immense promise for not only Manchester, but India as well.”

The first day of the event will showcase Manchester as an ideal business and trade destination and exhibit the city’s aptitude in sectors such as creative and digital services, life sciences and IT: industries seen as key to harnessing the potential of India’s vast resource base.

On Thursday a business summit will be held at Emirates Old Trafford, where delegates will learn more about Greater Manchester’s India strategy and further explore opportunities for bilateral trade.

Tim Newns, chief executive of MIDAS said: “This summit will present a fantastic opportunity to not only boost foreign investment in the region, but also to help our resident industries find a foothold in the Indian marketplace.”

“India has been pinpointed as a promising growth area for Greater Manchester, and as such is critical to Greater Manchester’s wider international strategy.

“With the Election of Prime Minister Modi in India there is a new openness to bilateral trade that Manchester must take advantage of to support growth. This event, which will be attended by a number of major Indian and GM based businesses is the perfect platform to launch this enhanced focus.”

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