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UK finds India in search for post-Brexit fortunes

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The UK and India have announced a new tech partnership to identify and pair businesses, venture capital and universities, British and Indian entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises make a splash in the connected economy.

The aim here will be to replicate a partnership with Israel, which led to £62 million worth of deals over the past five years, and also a windfall of £600 million for the UK economy, the government claims. The free-trade deal with India is hoped to generate £1 billion worth of new commercial deals, a claim which will add confidence to those fearing the economic fallout of the UK’s divorce from Europe.

“This is an incredibly important partnership and something tech businesses from both countries have been driving for,” said Julian David, CEO of techUK. “The UK and India are leaders in the development and use of digital tech, and there is a huge amount we can learn from each other and big opportunities to join forces in innovation.”

The initial pilot scheme, which will see the UK government contribute £1 million, will aim to build the network working with the British High Commission in New Delhi, the Indian Government and the private sector in order to increase tech investment, exports and R&D. The first connection between the UK will be with Pune, focussing on the Future of Mobility, including low emission and autonomous vehicles. Future links between various regions in the UK and India will aim to expand the capacity to new emerging tech. A tie up with Bangalore to focus on augmented and virtual reality, advanced materials and AI, has already been tabled.

AI and the data economy, clean growth, and the Future of Mobility, are three areas which are going to be at the forefront of this relationship, ticking the strategic objectives of the UK government. These are all sub-sectors of the technology world identified by the UK in the Industrial Strategy. Taking a leadership position here would put the UK is a very promising position as the connected economy develops.

Brexit will be here before we know it, however trade discussions are not progressing as many would have hoped. Partnerships with non-EU nations such as India, where the developing economy can act as an excellent growth machine for UK firms, will certainly boost the nations credentials in the global marketplace. A couple more of these partnerships might start to rectify some of the damage done to the UK after the costly and problematic divorce.


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