In order to help businesses, organisations and individuals of the United Kingdom and India to work together, a private sector organisation named UK-India Centre (UKIC) has been set-up as a company registered in United Kingdom. The organisation aims to bring experts, professionals and participants from relevant fields at a platform to exchange ideas and information to find out solutions to critical challenges concerning the countries. It will build and sustain a prosperous relationship among all the stakeholders of both the countries.
The organisation holds high significance in the fast-emerging world in the post-BREXIT scenario when the UK is finding hard to strike a reasonable trade deal with the EU. The organisation has a plethora of objectives that will not only strengthen the relationship of the countries, but also find out plausible solutions to long-standing issues affecting the growth of nations. Industries and academia of UK and India will come together for consultation and collaboration to help business community resolve their issues and move ahead with operation.
Mr. Umesh Prasad, Founder-UKIC, recollects, ”I remember casting vote in BREXIT referendum one evening in 2016 after returning from work and wondering how UK’s relation with non-EU world will be impacted by the outcome of referendum. And, here we are now with the news headlines today that PM Borris Johnson says the UK wants the EU trade deal but not at any cost and UK PM Boris Johnson accepts Indias invite to be chief guest at Republic Day celebrations. This may very well be the signals of the days to come. Perhaps, UK’s engagements with the non-EU countries will increase in the days to come. In such scenario, there may be a renewed emphasis on India (vis-a-vis China) for symmetry of interests and historical reasons. I hope things will further evolve in such a way that it becomes imperative for both the UK and India to enhance mutual engagements. UKIC, under my leadership will certainly do the best to live up to the occasion in providing a suitable platform for the stakeholders to converge and collaborate.”
UKIC will further conduct research, analyse and provide advisory services (through UKIC’s research arm India Observatory) to arrive at winning strategic decisions for our clients. It will also publish periodicals (viz. Indian Review) and news portal ‘The India Review’ (TIR) to disseminate and review information and updates on India and UK. Apart from that, achievements will be recognised and awards will be conferred to encourage the ecosystem.
Mr. Sarvesh Tiwari, India Convener and a known social activist said, “The development seems quite promising when the world is changing fast and shrinking with globalisation. India and the UK have always respected their relationship and it’s an opportune time to make the relationship firm in the wake of BREXIT. It will foster rich discussion with experts from different fields and provide much-needed solutions to the hurdles that come in the way of trade. I have full faith in the vision with which the organisation has been founded and see promising days for stakeholders.”
The organisation will make the path of economic co-operation between the two countries smooth. On trade and investment side, India’s trade with UK has grown from USD 5 billion in 2001 to USD 11 billion in 2017. The size of India’s economy, now the world’s fifth largest (IMF, 2019), makes it an attractive market for UK exporters. Trade between the UK and India totalled more than 20 billion pound in 2018. The UK is the 4th biggest investor in India with FDI of USD 26 billion flowed in India during April 2000 to December 2017. Conversely, India is the 3rd largest investor in UK and has emerged as the 2nd largest international job creator with Indian companies having created over 110,000 jobs in the UK. The defence ties between the two countries are multi-faceted as highlighted by the recent visit by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to the UK in 2020.
India and the UK have strong societal links. There are about 1.6 million Indians in the UK making them the single largest ethnic group. The British Indian community is the sixth largest in the Indian diaspora. India is Second most common nationality of National Health Service (NHS) Staffs. In terms of study, the UK stands second as the most preferred destination for students. Indian students are the third largest group of international students in the UK.
Umesh Prasad the Founder of UKIC is a British citizen of Indian origin. He is a former academic and entrepreneur and had earlier started Scientific European (SCIEU) (a science magazine), peer-reviewed research journals European Journal of Sciences (EJS) & European Journal of Social Sciences (EJSS) and, India Review (a monthly magazine on India) and The India Review TIR (a news portal).