China has historically been the market to break into for UK
firms in recent years. Despite similar hype surrounding its economy
as one of the 'BRIC' countries, India has not yet stepped
into the limelight as a great place to do business. However, this
could change in the coming years, with recent forecasts suggesting
that India, Vietnam and the Philippines are set to be the
region's pacesetters in the near future.
It would be unfair to suggest that the North West has not
established ties with India. In fact, our 2014 Business Travel
Survey, conducted in collaboration with Manchester Airport, found
that 73 per cent of respondents from 'BRIC' countries were
from India and were entering for business opportunities. There is
clearly a growing interest in the North for Indian businesses, and
with the Indian economy seeing a projected rise of three times its
current GDP between now and 2016/2017, northern businesses should
certainly turn their attention to breaking into
However, more needs to be done in order to promote the message
that India and the North should collaborate more. The Deloitte
India Services Group and the Manchester India Steering Group are
aiming to bring this together, with the government's
'Northern Powerhouse' policy set to play a key role. With
an increase in powers to be granted to the region in the coming
years, Deloitte, MIDAS, UKTI, the universities and local businesses
are all working together to demonstrate that the North West
operates as the main entry point into the UK market for Indian
With strong technology and healthcare sectors, and playing host
to a media hub, Manchester offers India innovation - a vital asset
which is scarce in the booming manufacturing country. Having
produced one of the world's first commercially available
computers, as well as being responsible for the textile boom in the
industrial revolution, it's clear that Manchester is at the
forefront of innovation in the UK. Currently, Manchester Science
Park, Media City and Manchester University are some of the key
innovators in the region and can offer Indian businesses a real
opportunity to gain knowledge and expertise in their respective
However, timing is critical when considering expansion into
India, as the growing middle-class culture in the country is
presenting a real opportunity for UK retail firms to move
internationally. Due to the increasing levels of disposable income,
we are now starting to see UK retail chains move into the Indian
market. Strong northern brands such as Boohoo.com and Missguided
could lead the way for a number of the region's companies to
take advantage of this, but it is important for businesses to move
quickly to fully capitalise.
India is certainly an exciting opportunity both for Indian and
UK businesses. The economies of both countries appear promising and
the increase of devolution through the Northern Powerhouse is
likely to be the catalyst to increase collaboration between the
two. Northern cities, including Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle,
are coming together to offer an attractive foothold into the UK
market and we will begin to see an influx in Indian investment in
the coming years. Similarly, with many businesses now setting their
sights on international expansion, India will fast become one of
the leading countries for UK firms to invest in.
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Developing Asia is facing considerable headwinds. Delayed recovery in major industrial economies and moderating prospects for the large economies of the China and India weigh on region's project growth forecasts.
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