Waking up to India: Developments in UK-India Economic Relations
HC 209, Fifth Report of Session 2007-08 – Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons – Business and Enterprise Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
There has been a significant improvement in economic relations between the UK and India since the 2006 report from the Trade and Industry Committee ('Trade and Investment Opportunities with India (HC 881-I)', ISBN 9780215029355), which urged greater engagement with India. Both Government and private sector bodies have worked to achieve this.
The sizeable investments and deals made both by Indian companies in the UK and British companies in India are encouraging signs of a deepening relationship, which should benefit both countries. The establishment of the UK-India Business Council is perhaps the most tangible manifestation of this.
This report welcomes the improved climate but identifies areas for further work. India's economy has recently enjoyed growth rates of around 9% a year; it is possible this will slow slightly in 2008 and 2009. Also, India faces significant challenges such as real poverty, poor infrastructure, and public sector bureaucracy. But the Indian market is liberalising and has much to offer; not all the barriers to a deepened relationship are on the Indian side.
The recommendations in this report on education links, on visas, on the future of the UK / India Joint Economic Trade Committee (JETCO), on the work of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), and on trade negotiations need to be seen against this wider backdrop.
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