FICCI's CEO Delegation to UK
Pankaj R Patel, President, FICCI and CMD, Zydus Cadila Healthcare, led a CEOs delegation to the UK from February 26-28, 2017 accompanying Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Government of India to the UK.
One of the main highlights of the visit was the launch of UK-India Year of Culture 2017 at Buckingham Palace on February 27, 2017. As part of this special endeavour, a year-long series of various cultural engagements between the two countries are being planned; truly indicating the importance attached by India and the UK to redefine not only its economic ties, but the long standing cultural ties too.
On the eve of this significant occasion, FICCI in partnership with the Indian High Commission in the UK and British Council organised a cultural Networking Reception and a Panel Discussion, which was attended by the key representatives from UK's business, art, culture and hospitality sectors.
Further, to pursue the business agenda, this high profile visit was utilised to organise various business focused interactions including a larger business session 'In conversation with Mr Arun Jaitley' as well as a close door interaction with the select leading CEOs from UK – both held in partnership with Confederation of British Industry and UK India Business Council.
Speaking at the business session, the FM said, “When the world is turning increasingly protectionist, India is opening up” and added that “India has the potential for a growth rate higher than what we are achieving today”. He also indicated that the discussions with his counterparts in Britain have convinced him that Brexit cannot be “confused with any protectionist idea”. “There is
a keenness to expand trade with India.”
While speaking at these forums, FICCI President mentioned that the foundation has been laid with a series of economic reforms and policy initiatives by the government such as 'Make in India', 'Smart Cities', 'Digital India', 'Start-up India' and 'Skill India'. There is no dearth of opportunities in India for investors, both domestic and foreign. He also added that while there are uncertainties in the current global environment, India and UK together can convert these many untapped opportunities and fruitfully engage with each other for mutual socio-economic benefits.
The FM and visiting delegation also attended the opening of the London Stock Exchange Market followed by the FM's roundtable discussion with prospective issuers and leading investors and fintech leaders to discuss London's role as a partner to India, supporting the country to develop its FinTech ecosystem and deliver key Indian priorities like infrastructure development, sustainable energy investment and the growth of smart cities.
On the side lines of the visit, FICCI business delegation had the opportunity to meet/call-on Boris Johnson, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade, UK and Priti Patel, Secretary of State for International Development, where discussions about India-UK relations as well as FICCI's role as a catalyst towards further enhancing IndoUK business linkages through focused flagship engagements were discussed.
FICCI-UKIBC-CBI in conversation with Arun Jaitley.
India-UK CEOs Round Table at Confederation of British Industry, London, during FM's visit to UK.
Market opening at London Stock Exchange followed by roundtable.