UK finance minister to lead trade mission to India next week
British Finance Minister Philip Hammond will lead a "heavyweight" trade mission to India next week with the message of 'Make in India, Finance in UK' in an effort to boost international trade post-Brexit.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Hammond will visit Delhi and Mumbai alongwith Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney and UK government ministers, including Commercial Secretary Baroness Neville-Rolfe and International Trade minister Mark Garnier, the UK government said on Sunday.
The delegation is part of the annual UK-India Economic and Financial Dialogue and also includes some of the UK's most experienced leaders in financial services and leading FinTech entrepreneurs.
"I'm delighted to be leading such a heavyweight delegation to India to bang the drum for British business. I am determined to create a truly Global Britain, reaching out and promoting the best of what we have to offer," Hammond said in a statement.
"The UK is perfectly placed to be India's financial partner of choice, helping it to raise the finance needed for its continued rapid growth and my message will be 'Make in India, Finance in the UK'. Our innovative markets have helped support the development of whole new product classes such as masala bonds that will support India's transformation," he noted.
British Prime Minister Theresa May had set the ball rolling on Britain's exit from the European Union (EU) as she triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty last week.
The trip has been described as a significant opportunity for the Chancellor to discuss Britain's new role in the world, as it prepares to revitalise its links with friends and allies, opening up new markets and new opportunities for British businesses. "As we leave the EU and embark on an exciting new phase of our economic history, looking to boost our trade and investment beyond the borders of Europe and strengthening our relationships with the world's most vibrant economies is more important than ever," the Conservative party minister added. During the visit, Hammond is set to focus on "Prime Minister Modi's 'Make in India' vision, which is devised to transform the country into a global manufacturing hub". He will set out how the UK is perfectly placed to become India's leading finance partner to help it deliver on its plans. The UK is already the world's largest exporter of financial services and the leading centre for FinTech. India's ambitious growth aspirations require it to develop its financial infrastructure and tap into global investors, with estimates suggesting that it needs over USD 1.5 trillion of capital in infrastructure investment alone in the coming years, said the statement from Hammond's No 11 Downing Street office.
"The UK and the City of London are therefore perfectly placed to be India's partner of choice to raise the finance it needs to deliver on its plans," the Chancellor will say in his message during the visit. Hammond will also recognise the major opportunities for collaboration for British FinTech firms, specifically as India continues its drive towards a society "less dependent on cash, using technology to increase access to banking and finance for everyone". This ongoing push across India means that its "finance sector is undergoing a significant transformation, with new payment firms, small finance banks and insurance players entering the field," the Treasury statement said.
"This shift presents enormous opportunities for the UK to work much more closely with India's own exciting Fintech sector."
Almost 80 per cent of all masala bonds issued in London was highlighted as a sign of the strong bond between the two countries.