The Indian Honorary Consul hosted an event in Cardiff this week which was attended by the Secretary of State for Wales, the Welsh First Minister and key players from Indian business – CEO of Tata Steel UK Mr Bemlindra Jha, and Mr Sanjeev Gupta Executive Chairman of Liberty Steel. The event was to increase Welsh trade with Indian companies in the lead up to Brexit.
The Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns called for greater links with India and the rest of the world in the lead up to Brexit.
Speaking at the Consular Association in Wales event at Cardiff Castle, Alun Cairns said: “We must look beyond the continent to the wider world, the Prime Minister and the UK government want us to be global leaders in free trade.
“We won’t have the access that the European Union provided so individual relationships are even more important than they were previously. The Honorary Consuls will be a valuable asset in achieving this.”
The Secretary of State was the guest of Raj Aggarwal the Honorary Consul to India, who is also the President of the Consular Association in Wales.
Mr Cairns added: “As we leave the EU, we are not turning our backs on our European friends and allies but the relationships we have through Honorary Consuls are even more important because they are our window on the world, and the world’s window on Wales and the UK.”
The Honorary Consular Association in Wales seeks to build trade and cultural links in Wales and currently have consuls to 29 countries around the world.
Mr Aggarwal said: “Now more than ever Wales needs CAW to build relationships and links to their respective countries both in the EU and the rest of the world. The expertise, network and knowledge of the Hon Consuls will forge stronger links and remove the hurdles and red tape. They represent countries with huge markets and a thriving consumer demand for quality welsh products. I have always said that our aspiration is to bring the World to Wales and take Wales to the World. That is now needed more than ever before.
“We must increase our efforts to maintain market share in Europe, but also to steal a march elsewhere in the rest of the world. The newer emerging markets in India is a key area for growth. These markets will give us more options. At present we are only scratching the surface of these territories, it is the work of the Hon Consuls to open up new trade relations in these areas.”