Communities secretary James Brokenshire has begun a three-day visit to India with the aim of promoting business and technology ties with the Midlands.
The secretary of state landed in New Delhi yesterday. He’s leading a delegation of business and public figures including Andy Street, mayor of the West Midlands, and Sir John Peace, chairman of the Midlands Engine partnership.
Mr Brokenshire, who is also the government’s Midlands Engine Champion, will use the opportunity to reaffirm backing for the Midlands-Maharashtra Technology Partnership – a regional element of the UK-India Technology Partnership announced by prime ministers Theresa May and Narendra Modi earlier this year.
During Mr Modi’s visit to London in April for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, both countries pledged to work to identify and pair businesses, universities and other organisations from different regions in the UK with states in India. The aim of the initiative is to provide routes to market for British and Indian entrepreneurs, and small and medium enterprises.
Mr Brokenshire said: “The Midlands and Maharashtra are thriving tech hubs in their own right, and by bringing these two great regions together we are strengthening our technological and economic ties to the benefit of our people and businesses.
“Whether it’s manufacturing the latest car model or sharing ground-breaking research, there is a lot to be gained and I’m determined we make the most of the opportunities, particularly as we prepare to leave the European Union.”
While in New Delhi, the secretary of state is due to hold talks with Sir Dominic Asquith, British High Commissioner to India, as well as with Shri Anant G Geete, minister for heavy industries and public sector enterprises, and India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley. While in Maharashtra the delegation will pay a visit to manufacturing firm Bharat Forge.