Close on the heels of the Honourable Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s call for enhancing investments in India, the 24th OIFC Diaspora Engagement Meet in London centered around partnerships in manufacturing, skills and energy. The Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC), a public private partnership between the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) formed to facilitate the economic engagement of the Indian Diaspora with India.
Led by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Government of India, the OIFC Engagement Meet set in motion a move to link economically successful UK Indians and British Nationals with vibrant revitalized investment destination- India
Key Secretaries to the Government of India spearheaded the invite for partnerships and economic engagement.
Inaugurating the Meet, Mr Prem Narain, Secretary, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and Chairman OIFC said, “The Overseas Indians must become a part of India’s development agenda. We have brought to London, a strong mix of information on new changes in policies, new developments and directions fronted by the new Government to help translate the enthusiasm and interest in this new India”. Mr Narain further added that “The Ease of doing business is the new mantra for our Government. Investors coming to Indian market have nothing to fear and this is an assurance from our Honourable, Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi.”
This was supported by Mr Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India who invited the UK based Indian Diaspora and UK industry to partner in the Industrial corridors and smart cities of India.
The one sentiment that echoed throughout the Session was that the UK based Indian Diaspora have been a huge asset to the United Kingdom and are a living economic link between UK and India. Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt, Chairperson, UK-India Business Council said that the UKIBC will work towards cementing the partnership between India and UK.
H.E. Mr Ranjan Mathai, High Commissioner of India to the UK said that the major difference in the Government policy and outlook towards the Diaspora is the move from the era of stopping the brain drain to partnering with the brain bank.
Mr Uday Dholakia, Chairman, Indo-British Trade Council, re-iterated the Indian Disapora’s wish to play an important role in the Indo – UK relations.
Mr Deep Kapuria, Chairman Hi Tech Gears and leader of the Indian business delegation to UK talked about scientific and technical collaborations between UK and India. He also said that the Indian diaspora in UK is well placed to establishment of SMEs and knowledge based industries.
Mr Philip Bouverat, Director, JCB said, “There is no doubt in my mind about the quality of Indian products – they are extremely good. JCB has 96% supply chain integrity in India.”
Responding to questions, Mr Amitabh Kant pointed out that the regulatory system in India is very strong. Moreover, land acquisitions norms are streamlining. “It’s a good time to invest in India”, he said.
A closed door roundtable seeking participation in “Re-invest” a global investors’ Meet to be held in February 2015, to garner investment in India’s ambitious renewable energy plans was held on the sidelines of the OIFC Diaspora Engagement Meet. India is targeting to add 100,000 MW of renewable energy in the next five year entailing an investment of $100,000 billion. India, today accounts for world’s 5th largest renewable energy capacity.
The OIFC Meet was attended by more than 150 Overseas Indians and firms from the UK.
OIFC leads the effort to connect with global Indian community and positions India as a springboard to expand their business engagement with India more purposefully.
The OIFC Diaspora Engagement Meet in London and its predecessor in Bahrain, held in September this year, have clearly demonstrated the great outcome of OIFC’s extensive efforts over the past years to support Overseas Indians.