UK-India Infrastructure Summit: Fostering Collaboration and Investment in Sustainable Infrastructure

July 9, 2023
by
India Global Forum

Key Takeaways:

  • The ‘UK-India Infrastructure Summit,’ organized by the City of London in collaboration with the India Global Forum, showcased the potential for investment in sustainable infrastructure development in India.
  • UK Investment Minister Lord Dominic Johnson emphasized the significance of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the UK and India and called for businesses to express their support for such a deal.
  • The summit highlighted London’s expertise in meeting India’s growing demand for green finance and sustainable infrastructure.
  • The Indian High Commissioner to the UK and the CEO of NITI Aayog made compelling cases for the City of London to invest in sustainable infrastructure in India, citing recent policy changes and India’s commitment to net-zero targets.
  • UK leaders at the summit underscored the importance of aligning technological capabilities with financing to enhance cooperation between the two countries.

Introduction

The ‘UK-India Infrastructure Summit,’ jointly hosted by the City of London and the India Global Forum, brought together top leaders from the infrastructure, green finance, sustainable mobility, clean energy, and telecom sectors of the UK and India. The summit aimed to foster collaboration and drive investment in sustainable infrastructure development in India. Key figures, including UK Investment Minister Lord Dominic Johnson, highlighted the importance of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the UK and India, emphasizing the need for business support to facilitate effective trade relations and mutual prosperity.

The Significance of a Free Trade Agreement

Lord Dominic Johnson expressed his optimism for a Free Trade Agreement between the UK and India, emphasizing the benefits it would bring to both countries. He highlighted the importance of business support for such a deal, stating that it would enable businesses to operate more effectively, leading to increased profits, wealth, and global security. Johnson’s optimism stems from recognizing the potential of a strong trade relationship between the two nations.

“I’m very optimistic because I think it is very important to do a trade deal for both sides… and it’s really important for business to express their support for such a deal because it’s about allowing businesses to function more effectively with greater profits, wealth and security for the world,” said Lord Dominic Johnson.

Investment Opportunities in Sustainable Infrastructure

The summit focused on investment opportunities in sustainable infrastructure development in India, considering its status as the fastest-growing major economy and its commitment to achieving net-zero targets. The Founder and Chairman of the India Global Forum, Manoj Ladwa, emphasized the critical role that sustainable physical and digital infrastructure would play in India’s growth trajectory and its ability to balance its environmental commitments.

Vikram Doraiswami, the High Commissioner of India to the UK, and B.V.R Subrahmanyam, CEO of NITI Aayog, presented compelling cases for investment in sustainable infrastructure in India, showcasing recent policy, legislative, and social changes that create a conducive environment for collaboration. Doraiswami highlighted the multitude of benefits for investors aligning with India’s transformation, emphasizing the potential for social and environmental impact.

“The cause of investing in India has never been a better one… there is no better reason for you to invest in India—not just for profit but also for social benefit and environmental benefit; for the totality,” said Vikram Doraiswami.

Subrahmanyam recognized the City of London’s expertise in structuring and channeling finance where it is needed, while India stands at the frontiers of innovation. He emphasized that combining technology with financing would enhance cooperation and drive successful infrastructure development.

Building Strong Partnerships

Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Member of the House of Lords and Member of the Court of Directors at the Bank of England, expressed his optimism about the strategic relationship between the UK and India. He referenced the statement by Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer on the FTA, highlighting that regardless of the electoral outcome in Britain, the Indian relationship remains strategic and vital.

Nicholas Lyons, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, emphasized London’s global expertise in sustainable finance and positioned the UK as the partner of choice for India’s infrastructure needs. He highlighted the City of London’s ability to help India access the largest and most diversified global capital pools on favorable terms.

Opportunities for UK Export Finance

Caroline Healy, Deputy Director – International Relations at UK Export Finance, highlighted the organization’s commitment to doing more business in India. With up to £4 billion of capacity to utilize in India, UK Export Finance is eager to leverage its product suite and support infrastructure projects in the country.

“My key message is that UK Export Finance wants to do more business in India; we’ve got capacity, and we’ve got the product suite,” said Caroline Healy.

Conclusion

The ‘UK-India Infrastructure Summit’ brought together leaders from the UK and India to explore opportunities for collaboration and investment in sustainable infrastructure development. With the potential for a Free Trade Agreement on the horizon, the importance of business support cannot be overstated. The summit showcased London’s expertise in meeting India’s demand for green finance and sustainable infrastructure while highlighting India’s commitment to net-zero targets. By aligning technological capabilities with financing, the UK and India can foster successful partnerships and drive transformative infrastructure development. As both nations continue to explore avenues for collaboration, the future looks promising for sustainable infrastructure investment in India.

About the City of London and India Global Forum

The City of London, a global financial hub, partnered with the India Global Forum to drive collaboration and investment in sustainable infrastructure in India. The City of London leveraged its unparalleled expertise in sustainable finance to position itself as a partner of choice for India’s infrastructure needs. The India Global Forum provided a platform for leaders from various sectors to come together and explore investment opportunities, policy changes, and innovations in India.

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