Speech to an India-UK trade conference


              This morning  I spoke at the India Summit.

               I said that in Opposition when working on the Economic Policy Review for the Conservative party, I set out the likely rapid growth of India and China.  Just carrying forward recent growth rates for these two large economies, alongside the very poor growth of Euroland and the slower growth of the US and UK, demonstrated that India and China are going to play an ever increasing role in  the world economy and come to represent a much higher proportion of world trade. They will also wish to see this rise in economic power reflected in their position in world politics and by their representation in world fora. At a time when EU trade is performing weakly, Asian trade is rising strongly.

             The  Coalition was very receptive to this thinking. The newly elected government set out in its early days the need to strengthen the UK’s diplomatic ties and contacts with Asia. There were to be more Ministerial visits, better diplomatic representation, and more suport for the all important two way business links.

              So it has proved. Today as we met in London, the Prime Minister was on his third official visit to India with trade and investment in mind. He is planning a new British business centre in Mumbai, and taking a lead to help UK companies win contracts in the Bangalore-Mumbai Economic corridor, as India steps up its infrastructure investment.

              The UK has a lot to offer India. As India embarks on a major infrastructure programme, the UK can help plan, organise, finance and engineer major projects. India has already shown her talent as an investor in the UK, with success coming in  particular to its investment in Jaguar Land Rover.



  1. Old Albion
    November 14, 2013

    Is this an attempt to justify the millions we give to India in routine aid?

    Reply No. I pressed to end aid to India, and it is now being ended.

    1. Mark B
      November 14, 2013

      Reply to reply

      Well, since that satellite is now on its way to Mars, I guess they now no longer need the money.

    2. APL
      November 14, 2013

      JR: “I pressed to end aid to India, and it is now being ended. ”

      Figures and timeframe?

      1. Hope
        November 15, 2013

        When there is an EU referendum.

    3. Robert Taggart
      November 15, 2013

      Old Alby – indeed – our fist thoughts too.
      Old Johnny (!) – well said, well done.
      But… is Blighty not disadvantaged over other countries on account of the large chip which India still carries on its shoulders ? – on account of our history ??

  2. oldtimer
    November 14, 2013

    Tata investment in the energy intensive steel industry seems to be another story.

  3. alan jutson
    November 14, 2013

    Pleased you had the opportunity to speak John.

    We certainly need to improve our trade with the rest of the World, such a shame we dumped on the Commonwealth 4o yerars ago, when we joined the then Common Market.

  4. lifelogic
    November 14, 2013

    Indeed the UK has a lot to offer India (and Asia) and them to the UK. We could of course do far more free of the ball and chain of the EU and Cameron’s lefty policies.

    Excellent and funny piece by James Delingpole today.


    “silly-misguided-and-counterproductive” indeed but exactly as one would expect of John Major.

    I also see Lord Patten is now attacking the chairman of the Tory Party for his hugely understated comments on the BBC. Why on earth did Cameron let this dreadful man be appointed to the already dreadful, lefty, fake green, anti-science, ever bigger state, magic money tree, BBC?

    Is Lord Patten’s job to defend the indefensible BBC or to improve it? The former it seems.

  5. Mark B
    November 14, 2013

    Funny you felt never to mention the EU in all this. You do know we can no longer sign trade agreements ?

  6. jon
    November 14, 2013

    Yes one of the very satisfying changes that happened from 2010 was trade visits by senior ministers around the world. Stark contrast to the Labour years. Same with Boris getting out there to promote London rather than Ken who was just about dubious socialist projects.

    I look at the North East with its low property costs so lower workforce costs and think why is it not attracting the many companies that site in the North Western European area like Denmark and Norway etc. I suspect it’s their many Labour MPs and councillors who choose to spend time on cuts marches and strikes than going to trade fairs to tout for firms to site at one of the cheapest areas in NW Europe.

  7. Bert Young
    November 14, 2013

    India and China are far more than consumer driven economies ; particularly in China there is a very strong element of technically driven manufacturing ( eg Lenovo ) that is making its presence felt in world markets . Both India and China have extremely competent “miming” / manufacturing businesses providing goods for the world ; as these progress , they will be more and more recognised . We can capitalise from their development by adding expertise in design and providing our “international” competence . The growth potential and ultimate value there is much bigger than Europe and our future wealth will be heavily influenced by doing “deals ” with them .

  8. forthurst
    November 15, 2013

    Foreign investment in vehicle manufacture dominates in the UK. When German or Japanese manufacturers invested in plants, they provided expertise in both design and production methods to create better and more reliable products. When Tata invested in Jaguar Land Rover, they brought no expertise to the party, simply cash and that most vital ingredient, apparently still essential to large scale mass production in this country, as recently comfirmed by the brinkmanship at Grangemouth, that of the threat of closure or transfer of the manufacturing facilities abroad. In a nutshell, car manufacturing is practically all foreign owned, as with much of the manufacturing industry which has still survived Trade Union depredations, because British entrepreneurs have not been able to justify to themselves or shareholders that the risk/reward equation is favourable towards investment or to have the ability to attract the quality of engineering management necessary. It goes without saying that Tata will be learning how to build vehicles desirable beyond the third world and may regard manufacturing in this country simply a phase.

    Reply Under Tata’s leadership Land Rover has designed and launched the Evoque. There is every indication they wish to carry on making cars here in the UK. A UK owned manufacturer would also shift production out of the UK if it ceased to make economic sense to be here.

    1. forthurst
      November 16, 2013

      Reply to reply: I recall reading a comment elsewhere by someone who actually works for Jaguar/Land Rover claiming that they have a large number of Indian trainee engineers, more than would be required for sustaining the UK plants.

      I agree that UK owned manufacturers would relocate should their UK based production become unprofitable e.g.as a consequence of excessive energy costs from the Climate Change Act 2008 driven by the EU from the findings of the 2007 Report from the IPCC etc

      Reply I would expect Tata to train engineers here, and I would also expect them to start production in India for the Indian and other local markets. That does not mean they are about to close the UK plant, which is fine for supplying other parts of the world. Major motor manufacturers all produce from several centres around the world for a variety of logistic, cost an d risk reduction reasons.

  9. Excalibur
    November 15, 2013

    Wishful thinking for the most part, John. India is very poorly disposed towards trade with the United Kingdom, in particular. Most recent trade agreements have been with South Asian and South East Asian countries. Where trade with Europe is concerned Russia and France predominate. We may alter the situation in our favour through the current negotiations, but I am not optimistic.

  10. uanime5
    November 15, 2013

    Until the average income in developing economies has increased to a level similar to the UK the majority of the population in India and China are unlikely to be able to afford anything made in the UK.

    1. Edward2
      November 16, 2013

      Total nonsense again Uni
      The fastest growing world markets for our goods such as luxury vehicles, fashion goods and high tech equipment is China and India.

    2. Bazman
      November 16, 2013

      This is not really true is it uanime5? Technically my house was paid for by car and van sale across world including many second and third world ones. There is a video of a car driving past car transporters backed up into Moscow must be about 3 miles long.
      Obviously not for everyone but there are a large number of people in the world able to afford these cars and our products built by a largely foreign owned manufacturing base powered by foreign supplies and energy companies employing foreign labour and our rubbish education system, high taxes, absurd regulations and poor infrastructure to do this whilst threatening to leave at the same time.

  11. Neil Craig
    November 16, 2013

    I find all the stuff about their space programme and aid depressing. There are arguments for ending “aid” generally and it is certainly the case that we would do more for humanity by quitting the EU and freely buying the 3rd world’s food than we do with our “aid” programme. But picking out India because they have the temerity to participate in the most important extension of humanity since we left Africa, while we don’t, is small minded and mean. If we think it is important (& clearly since it is such a bone of contention, we do) then we should be competing, rather than trying to browbeat our (friends and ed) one-time subjects into not competing.

    1. Bazman
      November 16, 2013

      How is a rich Tory farmer going to compete with the third world? It’s still cheaper to slaughter a lamb and its brothers freeze them and then trundle them half way around the world in ship from New Zealand than it is for him to put them in his 50k Range Rover, drive them to the local market sell them and then go to the pub to tell everyone how poor he is.

      1. Edward2
        November 17, 2013

        All due Baz, to the unintended results of your beloved EU and its crazy CAP subsidies without which farming in the UK would thrive.
        Many UK farmers are being paid more to not grow food than to grow food.

        Even faced with these barriers UK farmers still provide 65% of all our food.

  12. Elvin Floyd
    November 17, 2013

    It is valuable to get help from the countries which have good economies. Such steps can help to improve the economic condition of countries like UK.

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