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India: Overseas Trade

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps he (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to increase trade between the UK and India; how much his Department and its predecessor spent on the promotion of trade between the UK and India in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (268503)

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is the principal Government organisation for the promotion of trade and investment with India. In 2007 UKTI increased its staff in India by 18 per cent. to better support British business and inward investment. In 2007-08 and 2008-09 UKTI allocated grant funding to the newly created UK India Business Council (UKIBC)—a business-led organisation specifically tasked with supporting Government in the promotion of bilateral trade, business and investment with the two countries. We have also refreshed the UK-India Joint Economic Trade Committee (JETCO) dialogue, which my noble Friend the Secretary of State co-chaired with Minister Nath this January as part of a wider trade and investment visit to India.

We continue actively to develop trade and investment links, through the ongoing work of our team in India and the UK, and have commissioned research by the UKIBC into the opportunities represented by India’s second tier cities—the results of which will be released shortly. We are also recruiting a supply chain specialist and have put in place a new initiative, Fiscal Compass, which will help UK companies capitalise on overseas business opportunities arising from fiscal stimulus spending, including in India. My noble Friend the Minister for Trade and Investment is planning to visit India later this year, to further promote trade and investment.

UKTI annual programme expenditure (£)1 on the promotion/support of trade with India over the last 5 years was:

£

2008-09

22,033,261

2007-08

1,964,507

2006-07

1,842,356

2005-06

1,213,472

2004-05

872,234

1 Figures may slightly under-report the total programme expenditure on India as they do not take account of UKTI multi-market initiatives where the India costs are not specifically identified.

2 Estimated outturn.

Staff and establishment costs,1, 2 for the UKTI team in India over the last 2 years were:

£

2007-08

7,018,563.28

2006-07

5,028.766.97

1 2008-09 figures are not yet available.

2 Staff and establishment cost for UKTI in the years prior to 2006-07 were included in the general FCO compliment in India and are therefore not specifically identifiable.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many officials in his Department at each grade work on the promotion of trade between the UK and India; and what the equivalent numbers were for the Department of Trade and Industry in (a) 1983, (b) 1987 and (c) each year between 1998 and 2007. (268510)

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is the principal body concerned with promoting trade and investment with India. The network in India consists of officials (full-time equivalent) at the following grades:

AA

AO

EO

HEO

SEO

Grade 7

Grade 6

SCS

Total

Present

1.9

9.3

32.1

34.95

0.7

3.7

1.7

1.95

86.3

2007

6.35

34.99

8

23.85

1.7

1.95

1.8

1.78

80.42

2006

3.1

35.35

7.8

20.63

2.65

2.05

0.8

1.6

73.98

2005

4.1

37.48

7.35

20.26

2.7

1.95

0.55

1.95

76.34

Historical staffing levels for the period 1998 to 2004 are not available in a format that provides a meaningful comparison with the subsequent data.

The South Asia Team in International Group, UKTI consists of seven officials and is predominantly focused on India but it also has responsibility for trade and investment issues in other South Asian markets.

Similarly other officials in UKTI and BERR contribute towards the promotion of trade between the UK and India but it is not possible to quantify exact staffing levels as this is only part of their role.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much was allocated by his Department to the UK-India Business Council in each of the last two years; for what purposes; and if he will make a statement. (268516)

In each of the two financial years 2007-08 and 2008-09 we paid to the UK-India Business Council (UKIBC) a grant of £1,000,000.00.

The purpose of the grant is to finance the UKIBC’s advice and assistance to UK businesses doing or seeking to do business in India. This complements the services offered by UKTI in the UK.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assistance his Department provides to Indian businesses wishing to (a) invest in the UK and (b) take part in joint ventures with UK companies; how much was made available for these purposes in each of the last two years; and if he will make a statement. (268517)

UKTI, within BERR, provides services to companies not only from India, but across the globe. This includes: promoting the attractiveness of the UK to investors; a free consultancy service to foreign owned companies wishing to locate in the UK; direct access to Government Departments (and HMG policy) and introductions to private sector advisors wherever possible. Relationships between UKTI staff in London and overseas and with the UK regions provide a seamless service to clients.

UKTI, working with the regional development agencies and the devolved Administrations, maintains links with strategic companies once they have invested in the UK via the Investor Development programme. UKTI systematically gathers feedback on issues of concern to established inward investors, bringing these to the attention of relevant Government Departments and Ministers as appropriate.

UKTI does not offer specific services around joint ventures or mergers and acquisitions but provides services to assist with the trade and expansion efforts of companies that establish in the UK. UKTI does not provide finance to companies locating in the UK, but does provide strategic and operational advice via the UKTI/RDA/private sector networks.