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Gujarat woos post-Brexit investments from UK

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016,17:16 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

London | Gujarat wants to take the lead in attracting investments from the UK as the post-Brexit scenario unfolds, according to leading bureaucrats and industrialists from the state who visited Britain to promote next year’s Vibrant Gujarat Summit.

“Gujarat: Connecting India to World” was the slogan for a state government led delegation which made a visit to the UK recently as part of promotional road-show for Vibrant Gujarat Summit scheduled for January 2017.

“Our delegation’s objective is to strengthen relationship between UK and India where Gujarat will play an important part and we have had a phenomenal response. Gujarat will assist investors in strengthening their business propositions and investments in India,” said Mamta Verma, Gujarat industries commissioner, who led the delegation earlier this month.
Sunil Parekh, Zydus Group Advisor and a leading member of the delegation, said the UK’s vote in favour of leaving the European Union (EU) was at the heart of their visit.

He said: “The tone and tenor of the meetings we had in the UK is that people are now looking at the post-Brexit situation for UK. They want to build aggressive relationships for trade and investment with non-EU groups and India is one of the major elements.”
The aim of the visit was to attract participation in the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, held every two years, by highlighting the state’s investor friendly policies and its No.1 rank in terms of ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in 2015 among all states of India in a joint study by the government of India and World Bank, he said.

Manu Srivastava, director, Gujarat Agro Infrastructure Mega Food Park, said: “The UK is at a very interesting juncture in a post-Brexit world. Vibrant Gujarat is one of the largest forums in India, where businesses from all across the world come and collaborate. It opens doors to not just Gujarat but to the whole of India.”

Besides London, the team also visited Manchester and Birmingham to meet government representatives and businessmen.

Some of the focus sectors of the delegation included chemicals & petrochemicals, electronics, aerospace & defence, renewable energy, technology & start-ups, financial services, pharmaceuticals and textiles.

“The UK has good innovation in renewable energy. They also have done work in gas based equipment. The UK has good penetration of rooftop solar across villages as well. Given that we in Gujarat and at Urmi Solar see a lot of opportunity in collaborating with them,” said Kiritkumar H Patel, CEO, Urmi Solar Systems Ltd.

Vikas Nath, CEO – UK and Europe, Adani Global PTE Ltd, added: “The scope for collaboration is immense, and the time has never been better for Gujarat to capitalise on business opportunities from the UK.”

Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit will enter its 8th edition between 10 and 13 January 2017 at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar.

In the June referendum on EU membership, 52 per cent of Britons had voted in favour of leaving the EU, leading into a complex process of withdrawal.
However, the timetable for withdrawal has not yet been announced.