RBN Web Desk: A trade partnership aimed to boost trade links between the West Midlands and India was launched yesterday. The West Midlands India Partnership (WMIP) will support the region’s long-term economic growth plans by developing stronger links and opportunities for collaboration as part of a five-year programme of activity with the Indian market.
It is being led by West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC) and has been developed in partnership with Invest India, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Birmingham consulate general’s office.
The partnership will act as a single point of contact for potential new investors.
Jason Wouhra, chairman of the WMIP, said: “The West Midlands-India partnership is a confident step forward at a time when building resilient, productive economies is the key. Through the partnership’s long-term strategy, we aim to identify opportunities for both Indian and local businesses to trade, innovate and grow. By strengthening networks, collaboration in academia and airline connectivity, we want to build on our shared history to forge new opportunities for a confident future.”
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After the US, India is the leading source of foreign direct investment (FDI) and employment in the West Midlands.
The WMGC estimates that over the past decade, 13,000 new jobs have been created with names such as Jaguar Land Rover owner Tata Motors, State Bank of India and Elder Pharmaceuticals among those investing there.
The new programme also hopes to increase leisure visitors to the region with more than 38,000 people coming from India to the West Midlands in 2018. The number of leisure visitors has reportedly grown by 16 percent over the past five years.
WMGC chief executive Neil Rami said: “The West Midlands-India relationship is a key priority for our region’s tourism, trade and investment programme, particularly as we prepare for the shared opportunities the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will bring.
Lakshmi Kaul, UK head at the Confederation of Indian Industry, said: “The West Midlands is a melting pot of cultures, diversity and business excellence. The region is important for Indian industries as a hub of innovation and research. CII is pleased to support the West Midlands by working alongside the partnership to amplify business-to-business, as well as the people-to-people connection, while also addressing the economic growth and recovery roadmap.”