A high profile delegation from India is set to visit the north of England to forge new and innovative trade links with businesses across the Northern Powerhouse area.
The delegates are heading to Manchester in February to join the UK Northern Powerhouse International Conference & Exhibition before touring other key northern cities including Newcastle and Leeds.
The group, led by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is made up of medium to large businesses from a range of sectors including health, life sciences, education, pharmaceuticals and chemicals.
The delegation has a footprint across India, includes representatives from Delhi, Mumbai and Punjab and are “hungry to do business” with prospective partners in the North of England.
They will meet local companies looking for international collaboration during the visit, which has been co-ordinated by partners from the UK Northern Powerhouse International Conference, Yorkshire Asian Business Association (YABA), The North West Asian Business Association (NWABA) and ABC – Asian Business Connections in Newcastle.
The organisations behind the visit will embark on a preparatory mission to India to set the foundations and plan the detailed itinerary ahead of the delegation’s visit to the UK in February.
Building relationships with India is a top priority for Prime Minister Teresa May, who recently led a trade mission to India to reboot the UK’s relationship with the country and forge a stronger strategic partnership between the UK and India.
Amarjit Singh, Chairman of Yorkshire Asian Business Association (YABA), said: “We want businesses to know that India is very much open for business. It is hungry to do business with the North of England and this trade mission is the start of a major opportunity for northern links with India. We are very focused on the trade that can be done during their visit and how much business can be secured. There is currently a lot of work going on to ensure the right connections are made and serious business opportunities are established.
“There is already a strong Indian business links in the London region, but until now they haven’t really ventured up to the North. Part of the major barrier has been that people think it’s hard to get to, so they fly into London, conduct their business then leave. The UK Northern Powerhouse International Conference and Exhibition provides the ideal opportunity to break through these barriers, show how easy it is to get here and give them a feel for the trade links and amazing business opportunities available across the region.”
Martin Venning, director of the UK Northern Powerhouse International Conference and Exhibition, said: “The North`s long standing relationships with India is one of the region`s great untapped assets with huge potential for the future. This is an outstanding opportunity for businesses attending the UK Northern Powerhouse Conference to meet face to face with prospective trade partners from India who are looking to establish links with northern companies from a diverse range of sectors who want greater access to global markets in the post Brexit era.”
The UK Northern Powerhouse International Conference and Exhibition is supported by business leaders from across the major cities of the North from Liverpool to Newcastle. It will include interactive sessions with top firms such as Nissan, Cisco and Stobart Group, as well as the Confederation of British Industry, Institute of Directors and Federation of Small Businesses.
The Conference is the biggest cross sectoral gathering of Northern businesses in the UK, and will be held in Manchester Central on 21 and 22 February and is expected to attract over 3,000 delegates over two days.
Topics being addressed during the conference include manufacturing, transport and infrastructure, finance & delivery, devolution, competitiveness and productivity and energy.