The British investments in India that began in early 1,600 CE with the entry of the East India Company have continued to grow even 75 years after India gained Independence.
According to Grant Thornton Bharat’s latest Britain Meets India (BMI) report 2022, the UK remained the sixth-largest investor in India, with a cumulative investment of about $31.92 billion in 2000-22. This constituted around 5.4 percent of the total foreign direct investment (FDI) into India.
Despite low-key merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, the India-UK corridor witnessed 13 deals including India’s Wipro Ltd acquiring Capco, Reliance Group acquiring Faradion Ltd, and Bharti Enterprises acquiring OneWeb Ltd, the report noted.
The year 2022 marks 75 years of bilateral relations between the two countries post India’s independence from British rule.
Even before India’s independence, UK companies, such as Britannia, Unilever, Oxford University Press, HSBC, Amalgamated Metal Corporation, British American Tobacco and GlaxoSmithKline, had made India their home and are household names even today.
Despite global uncertainties, UK companies continue to view India as an attractive investment destination.
India’s trade in goods and services with the UK increased to $31.34 billion in 2022 from $19.51 billion in 2015.
One of the key highlights of the India-UK economic relationship in recent times was laying the groundwork for the India-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
It started with the visit of the UK Secretary of State Liz Truss in early 2021, where the countries agreed on an Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP), states the BMI report.
This was followed by meetings between the two governments that further laid the foundation for the FTA and defined Roadmap 2030 for the economic relationship between the two countries.
As an outcome of these interventions, trade between India and the UK is expected to double by 2030, said the report.
According to the report, there are 618 UK companies in India, with a combined turnover of approximately Rs 3,634.9 billion, and around 4,66,640 employees.
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