Liz Truss deepens trade ties, announces investment wins in India

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International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has concluded a 5-day visit (February 5-9), mapping the path to a potential future free trade deal and deeper trading ties with the world’s largest democracy.

The Secretary of State is today announcing that the Government has helped to secure a number of investment wins that will create jobs across the UK.

This includes a major investment by leading technology and digital firm Tata Consultancy Services that will bring 1,500 high-skilled jobs to sites all over the UK.

Indian pharmaceutical and biotechnology giant Wockhardt has also confirmed further investment in Wrexham, Wales, leading to more than 40 new jobs and the extension of their Covid-19 vaccination contract to ensure the UK has uninterrupted fill and finish capacity for vaccines in 2022.

India is the fastest growing major economy in the world, with longstanding ties to the UK and a potential market of 1.4 billion people. On Saturday Truss agreed an outline of a new Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) with India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, as part of the development of a roadmap that would lead to a potential comprehensive FTA, including considerations on an Interim Agreement on preferential basis.

It is an important part of the government’s plan to deepen links with major economies of the present and future beyond Europe, creating more trade and investment in strategic industries like science, tech and services that will help the UK build back better, greener and stronger from coronavirus.

Throughout the global pandemic India and the UK have supported each other by keeping vital supply chains open, tackling protectionism and collaborating on vaccine research – whether that be the production of over a billion doses of our life-saving Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine at India’s Serum institute or unlocking the export of nearly 3 million packets of paracetamol.

UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said:

India is the world’s biggest democracy and a nation that shares our belief in free enterprise. Deeper trading ties will create opportunities for UK businesses that were simply not there as part of the EU, and set the stage for a much closer partnership with one of the economic powerhouses of the present and future, ensuring more investors like Tata Consultancy Services bring jobs and growth to the UK.

We will be collaborating much more closely in the industries of tomorrow like science, tech and green growth, so we can build back better and deliver an export-led, investment-led, jobs-led recovery from coronavirus.

The UK-India trade relationship, worth £23 billion in 2019, supports key industries such as technology and life sciences and around half a million jobs in each other’s economies.

Life Sciences has been a priority sector for both nations, with UK pharmaceuticals exports to India growing by 21.4% to £96.75m in 2019. During her visit, the Secretary of State met with UK respiratory digital health company, Smart Respiratory Products, which is helping doctors in India manage their patients remotely via a smartphone app and telemedicine platform.

The firm recently secured a £5m partnership with Indian company, Care Ability Healthcare, to supply their Smart Asthma respiratory solutions.

Demonstrating the strength of the UK tech and life sciences sector, AI healthcare start-up Behold.AI announced during the visit that it has partnered with India’s Apollo Group to provide a diagnostic tool which can quickly analyse chest x-rays to aid in screening COVID-19 positive patients.

And UK firm Micropore, which specialises in equipment and support services to enable pharma companies to improve the performance and economies of their formulated products is setting up in Hyderabad, India to supply its award-winning membrane emulsification technology to its customers in the region and neighbouring markets.

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