The first India-Scotland business summit was held in Edinburgh this week to encourage Scottish companies to tap into opportunities in Asia.
The event, organised by Scottish Development International (SDI), the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Royal Edinburgh Tattoo, was held on Monday (24) and also provided the opportunity for Indian companies looking to break into the Scottish market.
Over 50 Scottish companies attended a session to hear from senior Indian business representatives about the fast-growing economy in India and the opportunities this presents.
Scottish exports to India were worth £242 million in 2014, and Scottish Enterprise recently set up an Indian high growth market unit in recognition of the potential of the market. The unit offers extra support both in Scotland and India for companies with the potential to reach the high opportunity market.
Paul Lewis, managing director of Scottish Development International, said: “Thanks to an expected economic growth rate of 7.5 per cent and a fast-growing consumer market predicted to be world’s largest by 2030, India offers significant opportunities for Scottish exporters.
“India can also be leveraged as a hub for serving the region and global supply chain. We need more companies to look at the opportunities India offers, and how these can support their plans for international growth. This event is a great showcase for both markets and how we can grow our trading partnerships.”
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), organised a delegation of major Indian companies to travel to Edinburgh, including senior representatives from Air India, Rolta, State Bank of India, and Tata Group.
Ranjan Mathai, the high commissioner of India to the UK, gave a special address to delegates.
He said: “The India-Scotland Business Summit is being organised at an opportune time when the economies of both India and UK are witnessing high levels of growth and diversification; in the UK economy Scotland plays a very vital role.
“The Scottish economy’s strengths in the key sectors of energy, life sciences, ICT, education, and food and drink provide immense prospects for collaboration with India under its ‘Make in India’ flagship initiative.
“Interaction between the Indian and Scottish companies during the summit would help to build linkages across sectors, thereby strengthening the strong bilateral economic relationship.”
The delegation to Edinburgh was part of CII’s Business Road trip initiative in the UK to enable Indian companies with an existing business footprint in Britain to consider opportunities for expansion in lesser explored territories.
Rooma Bussi, country director of Scottish Development International India, said India was well on the way to becoming one of the world’s most important economies and couldn’t be ignored.
She said: “India has established a global position for itself across a range of industries including IT, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and engineering to name a few. These are areas in which Scotland excels as well, providing Scottish-based companies with a host of opportunities across the Indian market.
“At the same time, there are sectors where India is looking for more technology, like the oil and gas or the clean tech industries. Oil and gas, clean teach and education are also key industries where Scotland offers world class expertise and a tremendous scope for innovation and collaboration for the mutual benefit of both countries.”