Manchester innovates India engagement

ANI | Updated: Feb 02, 2018 14:18 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb.2 (ANI): Manchester UK is a city known world-wide for innovation and being a game-changer. Today the city is embodying that spirit by launching an innovative approach to capitalising on global trade opportunities.

Unifying leading organisations such as Deloitte, Manchester Airports Group, Squires Patton Boggs, Growth Company, MIDAS, Manchester's inward investment agency and Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership within the "Manchester-India Partnership", the city will uniquely provide a clear route for engagement with this strategically-vital market.

Designed to build trade, investment, cultural and educational ties, the Manchester-India Partnership will have at its heart "Make in India, Innovate with Manchester", building on the economic strategy championed by Prime Minister Modi; leveraging Manchester's innovation and research capabilities in a broad range of sectors ranging from advanced materials to big data in collaboration with Indian industry and research institutes.

Manchester-India Partnership, with dedicated staff in Delhi, Bangalore and Manchester, will launch at the "Createch" Summit in Mumbai on 6 February. The Partnership will be chaired by Andrew Cowan, Chief Executive of Manchester Airport, who will attend the launch, along with Tim Newns, CEO, MIDAS, and Jo Ahmed, partner and head of Deloitte Manchester's Global Employer Services. This follows the UK launch which took place at the House of Commons on 1 February.

The formation of the Manchester-India Partnership reflects the strong investment into the region from knowledge-led Indian firms such as HCL, Hero Cycles and 42Gears, and strategic partnerships by Universities of Salford and Bolton with Bangalore and the State of Karnataka, to build on the increasing attractiveness of Manchester for Indian researchers, students and tourists.

A major target for the Manchester-India Partnership will be to encourage direct air routes to further broaden the existing economic and cultural links, with Manchester Airport already the 6th largest European air gateway into India.

Drawing on parallels with the city's strategic relationship with China, the launch of a direct Manchester-Beijing air route generated an additional £138m into Manchester's visitor economy in the first year of operation. It is hoped that, with similar focus, the city will attract direct Indian routes and in doing so facilitate comparable levels of investment and economic growth.

Andrew Cowan, CEO of Manchester Airport, said: "Forging closer relationships with the world's most important markets is key to the future prosperity of Manchester and the wider region. That is why I am pleased to be chairing the Manchester-India Partnership, which will exist to strengthen the trade and cultural ties between the two locations.

"We have seen first-hand how direct air links can stimulate significant increases in inward investment, exports and research collaborations and that is why securing a route into India will be one of the Partnership's number one priorities."

Tim Newns, CEO, MIDAS, Manchester's inward investment agency, said: "Manchester city region is famed for being at the forefront of industry and continues to be a competitive destination for international investors. India is a strategic market for Manchester and over recent years, the city region has welcomed significant investments from Indian companies including Hero Cycles, who chose Manchester as the location for their £2m global design centre, HCL Technologies, 42Gears, a high growth logistic solutions company from Bangalore, Vistaar Productions and the State Bank of India."

Jo Ahmed, Partner and head of Deloitte Manchester's Global Employer Services team, said: "Manchester and India already have a long history of collaboration, trade and connectivity, and great work is already underway to grow these links.

Prime Minister Modi's speech at Davos last week further reinforced the benefits of international trade and therefore the formalised Manchester-India Partnership will add greater emphasis to building relationships in the region, providing access for many of the city's businesses into a new and emerging market."

During the UK launch Tech Mahindra announced the company will establish an innovation and digital office at MediaCityUK, Greater Manchester this year, creating up to 80 jobs. (ANI)