India, UK trade may touch $24 bn: Survey

India, UK trade may touch $24 bn: Survey

New Delhi: India and the UK can more than double their bilateral commerce to $24 billion in the next 5-year by increasing trade and investment cooperation in sectors like energy, sciences and IT, a Ficci-Grant Thornton survey said on Sunday.

“In 2009-10, the trade was valued at $10.6 billion. India seeks to double its bilateral trade with UK to $24 billion in the next 5-year, an ambitious but achievable target," it said.

With some big ticket acquisitions, India is now a major investor in the UK.

“The UK being the world’s sixth largest manufacturer, a hub for science and innovation and gateway to EU, will continue to remain an attractive place to do business for Indian companies," it added.

Indian companies already provide employment to 90,000 people in the UK. The Tata Group is the largest manufacturing employer there and more than 180 Indian companies have invested in the IT sector, it said.

Based on the views of top-level executives on various economic and business related issues, the survey noted that the two-way trade and investment can receive a major fillip if the challenges faced by India and British companies in doing business in each other countries are expeditiously addressed.

“Some of the issues that have a bearing on investment decisions of companies relate to government regulations, state and local approvals, effect of taxation, IPR protection, ease of raising finances and ease of inflow of capital," it said.

Some of the issues raised by Indian companies in the UK relate to government regulations and support measures, ease of obtaining business visas, the rates of corporate and personal taxes and labour costs.

With its growing energy and infrastructural requirements in urban as well as rural areas, India offers huge opportunities to British companies.

On the other hand, Britain offers Indian automobile industry opportunity for acquisition and gaining access to EU market.