The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, this week took part in a three-day visit to India with a 40-strong trade delegation, including representatives from two Mansfield-based organisations to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the new Indian government’s focus on economic growth.
He was joined by Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. It was the first high-level trade mission to India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi was elected in May.
The Deputy Prime Minister met Prime Minister Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during the first day of his visit on Monday. He and the delegation then spent a day in New Delhi, a day in Mumbai and a day in Bangalore. Ed Davey also travelled separately to Hyderabad on Wednesday, making him the first British Minister to engage with the new state of Telangana created in June. Throughout his programme, Ed Davey explored opportunities for UK companies to strengthen collaboration on energy and climate change.
Vipul Vachhani, founder and CEO of Mansfield-based Jaivel Europe Limited, was among the delegates in India.
The aerospace manufacturing technology firm, which employs 82 people, have performed significant work on leading aircraft platforms like, Airbus A380 & A350XWB and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Also Jaivel has engineering and manufacturing centres in India, engaging in Indian aerospace programs. The mission follows the firm’s recent announcement of a new facility in India designed to integrate with Jaivel’s Manufacturing Technology Centre in Mansfield and will feature ground-breaking manufacturing techniques developed by Jaivel’s UK team. This investment will create 15 and 25 new jobs in Jaivel’s UK and India facility respectively.
Vipul Vachhani said: “We were keen to join the visit to get a better understanding of the Indian Government’s position on Aerospace and Defence Manufacturing and to get a clearer view on the expected reforms, which we expect to simplify for high technology firms like Jaivel to engage in Indian Aerospace and Defence programs.”
Dame Asha Khemka, principal and chief executive of West Nottinghamshire College Group commented: “I feel proud and honoured to join this important trade mission, having been part of the Prime Ministerial delegation in India in 2013, which did much to strengthen ties between our two countries and promote British business overseas.
“The world-class vocational education and training delivered by UK colleges means we are ideally-placed to work with the Indian Government to achieve its dynamic aspirations of creating 500 million skilled workers by 2022.
“This visit will enable us to develop close links with the newly-created Skills Development and Entrepreneurship Ministry under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi and create mutually-beneficial partnerships with Government Ministers, education and skills organisations, and industry leaders while showcasing the experience and expertise that our education and skills system has to offer.”
The delegation includes major British businesses from the retail, aerospace and education sectors, who will be signing deals and exploring new opportunities with their Indian counterparts. The Indian retail sector is expected to grow by 25 per cent a year over the next two years, and the delegation will be hoping to take advantage of an aerospace market which is expected to be among top three in the world over the next ten years, with seven per cent annual growth.
During the visit, the Deputy Prime Minister also be celebrated the strong cultural links between the UK and India, with an expansion of student exchange programmes and visits to schools and universities in Delhi and Mumbai.
The Deputy Prime Minister said:“I am delighted to be leading the first trade delegation to India since the election of the new government. Prime Minister Modi has been very clear that his absolute priority is to get the wheels of the Indian economy moving, to create more jobs, boost trade and pursue greater prosperity.
“There is already £16 billion of trade every year between India and the UK. India invests more in the UK than it does in the rest of the European Union combined, and no country in the G20 invests more in India than Britain does.
“In addition, there are the historic cultural links. The rich tapestry of British community, business, cultural and sporting life is hugely enriched by our links with India. Thousands of students take part in exchange programmes such as the UK-India Education and Research Initiative, and I look forward to seeing how we can forge even deeper and stronger bonds between our people.”