The new West Midlands India Partnership (WMIP) was launched as an initiative to promote UK-India relations while boosting tourism, trade and investment between the West Midlands and India.
The Virtual Launch Event took place on the 26th of June 2020 and was managed by the digital team at HereAndNow365 which catered an end-to-end solution.
This partnership is a part of the region’s long-term plan which involves a five-year programme of activity encouraging stronger links and opportunities for collaboration with the Indian Market to boost the economy. The initiative is led by the West Midlands Growth Company in partnership with Invest India, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Consul General of Birmingham office.
Dr. Jason Wouhra OBE, Chair of the West Midlands India Partnership, stated: “The West Midlands India Partnership is a confident step forward at a time when building resilient, productive economies is key. Through the Partnership’s long-term strategy, we aim to identify opportunities for both Indian and local businesses to trade, innovate and grow. By strengthening networks, collaboration in academia and airline connectivity, we want to build on our shared history to forge new opportunities for a confident future. As the former co-owner and director of East End Foods plc – a globally trading, West Midlands success story, I want to encourage Indian-owned businesses to follow in my steps and capitalise on this region’s potential.”
India already has a strong track record of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the region and the WMIP will build on this acting as a single point-of-contact for future potential investors. India is the leading source of FDI and FDI employment in the West Midlands, after the US, and have created 13,000 new jobs in the past 10 years. Some of India’s largest companies including Tata Motors, State Bank of India, Infosys, OLA, Enzen Global, Suprajit Group, Elder Pharmaceuticals and more recently, Microland have been enticed by the region’s strong business offer.
Dr. Aman Puri, Consul General of India, Birmingham, added: “This initiative offers both
British and Indian companies a fantastic new platform to collaborate on a wide range of established and emerging technologies. For SMEs in particular, it presents a real opportunity to develop more connected supply chains and scale through new commercial partnerships. I encourage enterprising businesses with ambitions to drive forward the industries of tomorrow, to join this exciting programme and realise the innovative potential of the West Midlands, as well as India’s growing ambitions in high-growth manufacturing and technology. I look forward to supporting the important and inspiring vision of the West Midlands India Partnership.”
This partnership hopes to strengthen ties between the two regions through boosting tourism, strengthening ties across universities and engaging the West Midlands Indian diaspora. There has already been some progress as 38,000 visitors from India arrived in the region in 2018 and there has been a 16% increase in tourism from India over the past 5 years. West Midlands universities have had a 33% growth in Indian students enrolled during this period as well. The West Midlands is home to the largest Indian community outside of London with over 200,000 residents of Indian origin. The WMIP aims to further expand these strong ties with India through targeted marketing and communications campaigns encouraging new Indian visitors and businesses to the region.
(WMIP partner companies)
Lakshmi Kaul, Head & Representative – the UK at Confederation of Indian Industry, stated: “The West Midlands is a melting pot of cultures, diversity and business excellence – the region is important for Indian industry as a hub of innovation and research. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is pleased to support the West Midlands by working alongside the Partnership to amplify business-to-business, as well as the people-to-people connection, while also addressing the economic growth and recovery roadmap.”
The WMIP is looking to explore joint activity with a twin city model to strengthen civic partnerships between West Midland and Indian towns allowing both places to expand their networks, seek investment and collaborate on investment and visitor projects.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, added: “The West Midlands’ innovation-led Industrial Strategy alongside the scale and ambition of India’s manufacturing, life sciences and technology sectors presents a major opportunity for world-class industry collaboration, helping to attract significant investment and create new, local jobs. The West Midlands India Partnership will bring together some of the best talent and capabilities to not only stimulate cross-market trade but to help address shared social and economic challenges faced by the UK and India. I am delighted we have been able to secure this Partnership, which represents a further strengthening of the already excellent ties between our region and India.”
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Tourism, which is match-funded by the government, will also be supported by the partnership and the Trade and Investment Programme is designed to increase the economic prospects of this global spectacle. The programme will include in-market activity connected to games-focused events such as the Queen’s Baton Relay.
Two separate boards comprised of senior stakeholders, leaders and representatives will govern the WMIP. The Advisory Board will be responsible for the strategic direction of the Partnership, while the Executive Board will govern the planning and delivery of the programme’s activity.
Manish Tiwari the Managing Director of HereAndNow365 states, “We are proud to be associated with WMIP and to have run their digital launch event. The West Midlands is a great multicultural hub offering much growth opportunities, especially to companies focused on diversity like ours. We are looking forward to opening up our offices in Birmingham in August 2020 and the exciting new prospects that will bring.”
Please visit the webpage to find out more about the West Midlands India Partnership or to sign up as a partner.