UK strengthens ties with India as investment soars

The UK is the G20's largest investor in India. Picture: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The UK is the G20's largest investor in India. Picture: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

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The UK has strengthened its position as the single largest G20 investor in India, supporting close to 800,000 jobs, according to a new report.

Between 2000 and 2016, the UK invested some $24.1 billion (£19.4bn) in India – increasing its investment by almost $1.9bn between 2015 and last year – representing 8 per cent of all foreign direct business investment into the country, the study by the CBI reveals.

The UK also managed to see off tough competition from Japan to remain the largest of all foreign investors into India after Mauritius and Singapore, and significantly ahead of the US.

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British business interests in India span a broad spectrum, both in terms of size and sector, with the country attracting investment from industry to services. The chemicals sector receives the lion’s share of UK investment at $6.1bn, followed by drugs and pharmaceuticals at $4.1bn and food processing at $3.2bn, according to the CBI’s second Sterling Assets India report, supported by PwC and the UK India Business Council.

The top reasons British firms invest there are the size and growth potential of the market, the easy availability of talented workers and the stable political system, today’s research notes.

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Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI’s director-general, said: “It’s really encouraging to see the vibrant economic relationship between India and the UK continues to flourish.

“From strengthening the UK’s leading position as the largest G20 investor in India to being the biggest Indian job creator through direct investment, it’s clear the country is a magnet for British firms.”

She added: “As UK companies grow, they also create jobs and drive prosperity here at home.”

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