Indian trade delegation could lead to creation of 600 jobs for city

Trade delegation

Andy Burnham welcomed more than 50 business people to Deloitte’s fifth Diwali dinner this week

And Greater Manchester’s mayor revealed the potential economic impact of his inaugural trade mission to India.

The 30-strong delegation visit to Bangladesh and India, which was delivered by the Manchester India Partnership (MIP), led to a series of deals and partnerships as well as seven investment projects.

If successful they could create more than 600 jobs and lead to £45m being generated for Greater Manchester’s economy.

The aim of the public-private partnership, which was established in 2018, is to build and strengthen bilateral ties in trade, investment, tourism, culture and education between India and Greater Manchester.

It is a special purpose vehicle within MIDAS – Greater Manchester’s inward investment agency – that brings businesses, universities and the public sector together to develop a strategic approach to engaging India.

The purpose of the visit was to capitalise on an economic opportunity between India, Greater Manchester and the wider North of England estimated at £400m, while strengthening cooperation between the two regions.

MIP hosted a series of events in India, including major receptions in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi to engage with Indian businesses of all scale and drive future collaboration between the two regions.

Around 1,000 people met with the delegation throughout the visit.

Highlights from the visit included memorandums of understanding (MoUs) between University of Salford and Karnataka State Higher Education Council (Bangalore); Manchester Museum and the Partition Museum, Armritsar (Delhi); and MediaCityUK’s The Landing and Famous Studios (Mumbai).

Asha Bhosle, Bollywood icon and owner of Manchester’s Asha’s restaurant, was presented with an honorary doctorate from the University of Salford in Mumbai, while in Bangalore, Lancashire County Cricket Club announced the team would complete its pre-season tour in India next year.

Andy Burnham said: “There’s huge history between Greater Manchester and India and it was great to strengthen ties while visiting the country last week.

“There are more than 50,000 members of the Indian community living in Greater Manchester and I visited India not just to strengthen trade, investment, tourism, culture and educational ties – but out of respect for the part their parents and grandparents played in developing our city into what it is today.

“I want to work with the next generation of Indians to drive new opportunities for both regions. This is the time to give back through partnership and write a new chapter. That partnership is based on equality and mutual benefit, which was perfectly represented by the announcements we made in India last week, acknowledging our past while building new opportunities for the future.”

Jo Ahmed, Partner at Deloitte and MIP board member, said: “The relationships we have established through the Manchester India Partnership are already paying dividends for our city and it was excellent to see so many familiar faces at Deloitte’s Diwali dinner to celebrate that.

“It is now time to take it to the next level, build on existing partnerships and create new ones to bring Manchester’s ambition to be the number one digital city in the UK to fruition, while boosting social and economic impact in both Manchester and India.”

Initiatives backed by the Indian government, such as Digital India, Make in India, and Clean Energy India, align with Greater Manchester’s research and innovation strengths in technology, advanced manufacturing and energy – creating huge opportunities for partnership. Greater Manchester is recognised as the UK’s fastest growing and most economically productive city region and India has the fastest growing economy in the world, making them the perfect bilateral collaborators.

Andrew Cowan, chair of the MIP and chief executive of Manchester Airport, said: “Having established the MIP less than two years ago, huge progress has been made on a number of fronts, including increased levels of trade and investment, a series of academic and research partnerships and several cultural and sporting collaborations – many of which we celebrated during this trip, while strengthening and deepening our ties with one of the UK’s most important economies.”