A perfect face for radio
I was fortunate enough to have recently spent a week in India as part of a Northern Powerhouse trade delegation. The mission was co-ordinated by the Federation of Asian Business and backed by the Department for International Trade, the Confederation of Indian Industry and the North East LEP. The mission was a huge a step forward for these companies to build bridges and understanding. We all came away glowing with enthusiasm.
I was therefore delighted to participate in a discussion on North East LEP board member and my fellow delegate Ammar Mirza CBE's radio show in Newcastle recently to talk about our recent multi-stop, hurricane speed trade mission.
Ammar curated a great discussion of experts and businesses exploring how they build their customer base and relationships in India. The participants were all from great companies from the North of England building state of the art products and services for international markets. My role in the radio discussion was to talk about Quatro's aspirations in overseas markets, but also to reflect on how the political debate across the Northern Powerhouse is maturing to focus on the importance of the global dimension; transport, skills, locking in measures to ensure an inclusivity are all part of the same recipe of growth, which must also include energised active engagement with the global economy.
In recent years northern cities such as Manchester and Sheffield have cast their eyes to China in search for global partnerships, but now we are waking up to the potential of India. As well as our recent mission, this last week, the new Manchester-India partnership was announced, a public-private initiative that seeks to build closer ties between Manchester and India. I'm delighted that Sheffield City Region are finessing their plans to upscale their engagement with India focusing on the tangibles of their strengths in advanced manufacturing, healthcare, digital and energy.
The attractiveness is no secret. By 2021 India will be the most populous country, with approximately half of that population under the age of 25. She is the sixth biggest economy in the world and is predicted to grow at an average of 5.9% until 2050. There is a strong case for us in the north of England to take every opportunity to connect with Indian business for our mutual benefit.
Over the next few weeks I will be co-authoring a report, which will be launched with our supporters and partners in the Houses of Parliament on the 21st of March. Please get in touch if you would like to hear more about the report and the launch event.