LONDON: A first-of-its-kind UK-India Week will be held in Britain next month to promote bilateral trade and investments through a series of events to be attended by ministers and professionals from both countries.
First-ever UK-India Week to promote bilateral trade and investments
"Britain needs to dispel the pessimism troubling many about Brexit, and instead work hard for a common future with special partners like India," said Manoj Ladwa, founder and CEO of India Inc - the media house behind UK-India Week 2018.
"For India, the UK presents an opportunity of a generation to engage at a much deeper, strategic level. If both countries can make it work, it's a massive win-win and UK-India Week is about opening new and exciting opportunities towards that goal," he said.
UK-India Week 2018 will open with the release of the second edition of 'The 100 Most Influential in UK India relations' - an index to mark the achievements of individuals from both countries making a significant impact on strengthening the bilateral relationship.
It will be followed by the 5th annual UK-India Leadership Conclave, dubbed as "Brexit Britain meets Global India" and attended in previous years by railways and coal minister Piyush Goyal and road transport minister Nitin Gadkari. This year's speakers and participants are set to be unveiled by next month.
In addition, UK-India Week will feature the High Commissioners' Cup, a day-long golf tournament bringing together key diplomatic and business figures from across the Commonwealth in aid of Prince Charles' British Asian Trust (BAT) charity.
The UK-India Awards, launched last year by UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson, will conclude the week-long events.
The awards, to be presented to professionals and companies from around the world, will be selected by a six-member judging panel including Lord Marland, Chair of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council; Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder and chairman of Bharti Enterprises, and Priti Patel, former UK international development secretary.
Total trade in goods and services between the UK and India stood at 18 billion pounds in 2017, a 15 per cent increase from 2016.During Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the UK in April for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), the UK's Department for International Trade (DIT) had agreed to forge a new India-UK Trade Partnership to build on the recommendations of a Joint Trade Review (JTR) concluded between the two countries earlier this year.
The new partnership is aimed at improving the accessibility of trade for businesses in both countries and the UK-India Week hopes to feed into that process.