India Trade Bureau coming up in British city

Thursday, 27 January 2005, 08:00 Hrs
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LONDON: Council and business leaders in Leicester, a city with a large Asian population of Gujarati origin, are setting up an India Trade Bureau to boost relations.

It is being set up on the lines of the successful Leicestershire-Sichuan Trade Bureau launched in May 2004, which provided a further boost to Britain's trade relations with China.

The Leicester Shire Economic Partnership (LSEP) has granted money to fund a manager's post, while the city council is likely to second another member of staff.

LSEP chief executive Kishor Tailor wants the India bureau up and running by April. He said: "We recognise that as the Indian economy grows, there are a lot of opportunities for companies in Leicestershire and those in India to work together.

"Companies locally can export into the Indian market for the goods needed there as the economy grows."

Tailor said the bureau would act as an information base for firms wanting to export but needing guidance. It would also build contacts with Indian companies.

Another aspect of the bureau's work will be as the first port of call for Indian firms looking to invest in Britain or start joint ventures with Leicestershire businesses.

"The bureau will host visits by Indian companies, working with the inward investment team at Leicester Shire Promotions," said Tailor.

Also on the agenda for the bureau will be organising trade missions, with the Government's UK Trade and Investment team, and building links between Leicestershire and India in other areas such as universities and specific sectors such as food.

Leicestershire Asian Business Association chief executive Jiva Odedra said: "It's an excellent idea. There is a lot of interest from Indian multinationals to locate in England.

"They still consider it a friendly environment. From here they can springboard into the rest of Europe.

"With economies such as China and India, we seem to have missed out at times. Considering there's a history between our nations and how rich our relationships are, we seem to have missed out in terms of economic activity."

Source: IANS
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