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Agri-tech, higher education, and e-sports are set to be highlighted industries in a restructured sequence of UK trade missions to India in the upcoming year. 

Alive with Opportunity, a £1.5 million promotional campaign, is being unveiled by the Department for Business and Trade to augment the longstanding relationship between the UK and India. The campaign aims to spur trade and investment and emphasise the rich cultural ties that bind the two nations.

Kemi Badenoch, the Business and Trade Secretary, initiated the campaign during her three-day trip to India on Thursday, 24 August. Her itinerary includes the G20 Trade Ministers Meeting in Jaipur, followed by the Business 20 summit and additional meetings in New Delhi with Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Tata Chair Natarajan Chandrasekaran.

Badenoch stated, “I’m delighted to be returning to India to support their G20 Presidency, further our trade talks and meet key business leaders. The UK and India have a thriving relationship and we both share an ambition to deepen our cultural and trading ties.”

India is the UK’s second biggest source of investment projects and I’m confident this new campaign will help boost interest in and demand for UK goods and services even further.”

According to recent data from the Department for Business and Trade, India ranks as the UK’s second-largest investor with 118 new projects in the previous fiscal year, generating 8,384 new jobs. The campaign complements the UK’s goal to double its trade with India by 2030.

Presently, over 900 Indian companies are operational in the UK, and more than 600 UK firms have successfully established themselves in India, collectively sustaining over half a million jobs in both countries.

The Alive with Opportunity initiative will champion commercial, cultural, and sporting ties, and is timed to coincide with significant events like India hosting the Cricket World Cup and the England-India test series commencing in January. Advertisements will be strategically placed on billboards, in airports, and across social media, supported by targeted trade missions and promotional activities in both nations.

The campaign aims to animate the concept of a ‘living bridge,’ a term coined by Indian Prime Minister Modi to articulate the dynamic relationship between the UK and India based on an ongoing exchange of culture, ideas, and people.

Richard McCallum, CEO of the UK-India Business Council, commented, “With total trade growing 34% in current prices in the year to March 2023 and India remaining the 2nd largest source of FDI projects in the UK, there is no doubt that the economic relationship between our two countries is flourishing.”

“UK companies recognise that India is one of the fastest growing economies and one that is alive with opportunity in a range of sectors, including R&D, talent and manufacturing. Indian firms are also embracing UK technology and capital to grow internationally.”

During her time at the G20 summit, Secretary Badenoch will advocate for the expanded use of digital trade to simplify international transactions for UK businesses. 

While in New Delhi, she is scheduled to engage with leading Indian companies from diverse sectors and will hold a bilateral discussion with Tata Chair Natarajan Chandrasekaran, following their announcement of a new £4 billion gigafactory in the UK last month.

Her visit aligns with the twelfth round of negotiations for an extensive trade agreement with India. She is set to meet her Indian counterpart, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, to review the state of talks and strategise on advancing a deal that could potentially escalate bilateral trade, which stood at £36 billion last year.