More than 100 business and policy leaders travelled from across India to attend EPG’s inaugural India Week last week, and another 800 participants from across the UK, Europe and the US.
Global advisory firm EPG organised India Week to create a global conversation around India’s increased importance in the world economy. Now the most populous country in the world, India’s economic growth rate is the highest amongst major economies today. India’s inflation rate is lower than that of the UK, US and other major economies. As the Western world diversifies its supply chains and geopolitical dependencies away from China, India stands to benefit.
India Week started on 7 May with a CEOs Golf Weekend in Leicestershire, followed by an education conference and Awards in Oxford, with a Keynote Address from Rakkam Sangma, Education Minister of Meghalaya. The London leg was on 11-12 May, including the Ideas for India conference, an invite-only dinner in the House of Commons, and a black-tie dinner with KT Rama Rao (Minister for Municipal Administration & Urban Development, Industries, Commerce & IT, Telangana).
KTR, as he is known, highlighted the remarkable progress made by Telangana in the last nine years. KTR was optimistic that by doing things right, what China could achieve in 30 years, India could do in less than 20 years. “As India, we have to focus on the fundamentals and basics the way Telangana did. We need to focus on the farmer, the youth, while creating a future that is based in innovation and making India a leader in the fourth Industrial Revolution,” he said.
His speech was to more than 300 attendees, including leading members of the Telangana diaspora, and drew several standing ovations.
During the Telangana government’s visit to the UK, KTR signed an Memorandum of Understanding with the London Stock Exchange Group CIO’s Anthony McCarthy for the establishment of a Technology Centre of Excellence in Hyderabad, generating up to 1,000 new jobs.
Former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Raghuram Rajan, delivered the Keynote Address during the Ideas for India conference, organised in conjunction with think tank Bridge India. In it, he said India’s growth path lies in leveraging its intrinsic strengths and becoming crucial to global supply chains by building on its historic culture of tolerance and respect for all. “Our independent judiciary, our liberal democracy, these are critical advantages if we are to go down this manufacturing service-led growth path because this will enable us to earn the world’s trust; it’s intrinsically necessary,” said Rajan.
Nigel Huddleston MP, Minister of State for International Trade, said he was “Delighted to speak to our friends from India during India Week and highlight how a free trade agreement can benefit both nations. A UK-India trade deal is a huge opportunity for both sides, and could boost our £36bn trading relationship and pull down barriers to trade.”
Ruth Cadbury MP, Shadow Minister for International Trade, said: “The conference showed the close links between our two countries and important work we can do around energy security and trade.”
Supriya Shrinate, Chairperson, Social Media and Digital Platforms, for the Indian National Congress, said: “As a proud Indian – I asserted India has made huge strides to emerge as a global super power and reach where we have … Also insisted that despite moments of weakness that plague our democracy it is the resilience and the inbuilt course correction by people that keeps hope and democracy alive. Because they aren’t just some lofty ideas or pillars of our constitution, these are the virtues on which our economic heft and our role as a global power are built upon.”
Pratik Dattani, Managing Director of EPG, said: “India is the world’s largest democracy, most populous country and has the fastest economic growth rate amongst major economies. During India Week, we saw interest from governments from across India in engaging foreign investors to bring new ideas, innovation and investment into their cities. Telangana’s MOU with the LSEG is one example of how the bilateral partnership can work for mutual benefit.”
A wide range of cross-party policymakers travelled from India especially for the event, including Speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly Rahul Narwekar; Chairman of Tipra Motha Pradyot Manikya, who spoke on the need for a strong federal structure in India; Regional Spokesperson for the NCP Umar Farooqui, and several others.
About EPG: Economic Policy Group (EPG) is an economic and strategy consulting firm based across the UK, India and Uganda, which offers market entry advisory services and strategic communications to businesses and governments around the world. Find out more at www.economicpolicygroup.com.
Find out more about India Week at www.economicpolicygroup.com/india-week-2023.
About India Week: Given the UK and India are due to sign a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement shortly, and have already agreed significant market access agreements on migration and opening up the legal services market in India, India Week is an ideal platform for further exploring bilateral ties. The inaugural edition was in May 2023, and the next edition will be in mid-2024.