The UK is pushing for more investment opportunities in India, connecting entrepreneurs from both the countries, a senior UK diplomat said today (16).
“We are trying to encourage investment rather than focusing on individual big deals,” British deputy high commissioner, Bharat Joshi told reporters.
He was responding to a query on the impact of Walmart’s acquisition of online retailer Flipkart for $16 billion last week. Elaborating, he said: “To be honest, all those big deals do not require involvement of government participation. They happen between businesses.”
“What we are trying to do is connect entrepreneurs in both directions,” he said.
In the biggest deal in the booming e-commerce sector, Walmart had on May 9 announced that it was buying 77 per cent stake in Flipkart for about $16 billion (Rs 1.05 lakh crore).
Joshi who would be leaving office in September upon completing his tenure, said it was an amazing experience to serve a diversified country like India.
“We have loved it. It is such an amazing country. I have fallen in love with India twice. First, when I had come in 1992 and got graduated and second in a different way (as deputy high commissioner),” Joshi who is of Indian origin, said.
On employment generation by Indian companies in the UK, he said: “5,500 jobs were created in the United Kingdom by Indian companies and one in 20 jobs in the formal sector was created by a UK company in India.”
To a query on the outlook for current year, he said: “We will be doing a lot more in healthcare. I think, we will be seeing a lot more investments coming in digital healthcare, services in the Indian market.”
Joshi noted that the investments from Tamil Nadu and Kerala were high in UK and lot of IT companies were setting up back offices for their global businesses. He said the high commission was also supporting the proposal to set up a Financial Services Centre of Excellence in Chennai, by Software Technological Parks of India along with government of Tamil Nadu.
“We are also supporting that process. We are looking at how we can use UK financial service expertise to help create that park,” he said.
The role played by deputy high commission on the release of British nationals, Estonians and Ukranian sailors after their ship was impounded by local authorities of Tamil Nadu coast was also one of the highlights last year, he said.
“We were working with the group of people for four years. I am very happy that they were able to go back to their families (following their acquittal),” he said.
In November 2017, the Madras High Court acquitted 35 crew members of a private US Ship, Seaman Guard Ohio convicted for illegally entering Indian waters in 2013 with weapons. The arrested included 25 foreign nationals and 10 Indians.