Thursday, August 11, 2022

New UK parliamentary panel to promote trade, investment with India

A cross-party UK parliamentary panel has been formed to promote trade, investment and people-to-people ties with India. It is backed up by British Indian think tank 1928 Institute

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A cross-party UK parliamentary panel has been formed to promote trade, investment and people-to-people ties with India. It is backed up by British Indian think tank 1928 Institute, reported PTI.

The India (Trade and Investment) All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) was formally registered recently as part of celebrations of the 75th anniversary of India’s independence and is made up of 25 members of Parliament and peers of different political affiliations. Its aim is to promote trade and investment between India and the UK for the mutual betterment of their citizens while building an inclusive living bridge between the two countries. The new APPG banks on the ongoing India-UK free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations and will promote its benefits once concluded. (APPGs are informal, cross-party groups in the UK formed by MPs and members of the House of Lords who share a common interest in a particular policy area, region or country and have no official status within Parliament.)

“Given 75 years of India’s Independence, the creation of an All-Party Parliamentary Group focused on India will set the tempo between the U.K. Parliament and India/Indians,” said Navendu Mishra, Indian-origin Opposition Labour Party MP for Stockport in north-west England and co-chair of the new APPG.

The Conservative Party MP Bob Blackman chairs the APPG. The group includes other Indian-origin parliamentarians as vice-chairs, including Lord Meghnad Desai, Baroness Usha Prashar, Labour MP Virendra Sharma and Tory MP Gagan Mohnidra.

“APPG will be the conduit which not only connects U.K. and Indian policymakers but connects businesses and entrepreneurs to drive growth. The APPG will ensure that dialogue and engagement will cut across all levels of business, particularly encouraging a wider lens on female led business and start-ups.”

— Baroness Sandy Verma, President of the APPG

“Investment in people is the best way to ensure economic stability and this APPG intends to benefit the peoples of both the U.K. and India. In particular, I’m looking forward to bringing investment to Stockport and to the Greater Manchester region, both from stronger cultural ties and from utilising the trade agreement,” he said. Mishra also pointed out: “What better way to celebrate the 75 years of Independence then to strengthen the living bridge between the countries and to solidify an equal partnership between these two great nations.”

Lord Karan Bilimoria, Indian-origin businessman and co-chair of the APPG said: “It’s a new chapter in the story of the Indo-British trade partnership and I’ll be working tirelessly to ensure that we get the best possible FTA and that it is utilised after. The group’s establishment coincides with the 75th year of India’s Independence and it will be a parliamentary driving force behind the U.K.-India story in the years to come.”

Baroness Sandy Verma, President of the APPG mentioned that the “APPG will be the conduit which not only connects U.K. and Indian policymakers but connects businesses and entrepreneurs to drive growth. The APPG will ensure that dialogue and engagement will cut across all levels of business, particularly encouraging a wider lens on female led business and start-ups.”

“We are honoured to facilitate the APPG as its Secretariat and look forward to collaborating with diverse partners to champion trade, investment, and development,” said the 1928 Institute, a University of Oxford spinout focussed on Indian diaspora research in the UK. It also said: “We intend to create an energised, inclusive, and pluralistic space to accelerate the improvement of material conditions for all. Our vision spans opportunities from Pembrokeshire to Punjab, and we encourage you to get in touch to help shape this nascent space.”

The new APPG will officially start its activities when Parliament resumes after its summer recess under a new Prime Minister in September.

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