UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who made her maiden visit to India at the inauguration of the India-UK Tech Summit offered a host of developments that could benefit entrepreneurs.
As the two countries kicked off talks on boosting trading links ahead of Britain's departure from the European Union, May described the potential of the relationship with India as limitless.
India is the 3rd largest investor in United Kingdom and is the fastest growing major economy in the world. In the wake of a Brexit, May is looking to lure Indian businessmen to invest more in Britain and is tapping ways to strengthen India-UK trade ties.
Here are the 5 key highlights that could benefit Indian businessmen from May’s visit.
Significantly Easier Entry Process
May said Indians who frequently UK to contribute to growth will face a ‘significantly easier’ entry process.
May said fewer forms, access to the EU-EEA passport controls, swifter passage through Britain’s airports and more opportunities for Britain and India is a clear message that Britain is very much open for business.
A select group of high-net-worth Indians are expected to gain access to a bespoke visa and immigration service, according to Theresa May’s office.
Commitment To Free Trade
May said UK is committed to free trade and is keen to take the bilateral relationship with India beyond the ‘taken for granted’ approach.
“As Britain leaves the European Union, we are determined not to turn our backs on the world, but to forge a new global outward looking world for ourselves. Because we know from history, what happens when countries do not embrace the opportunities of the world … they stagnate, they get poorer, they don’t protect their people and make them worse off,” May said at the UK-India Trade Summit.
Registered Travellers Scheme
To speed the entry of Indians looking to explore business opportunities in India, May has offered a first of its kind registered traveller scheme. May reiterated that the UK was open for Indians want to bring business to Britain for the benefit of both the economies.
“India now has one of the best visa services for the UK in the world, with more application points than any other country and the only country where it is possible to get a May said.
Boost To Financial Companies Via Masala Bonds
Indian Power Minister Piyush Goyal, at the sidelines of the UK-India Trade Summit, said that $1 billion of rupee bonds would be listed in London by Indian public sector energy corporates in 2016.
Indian companies including HDFC and NTPC have raised masala bonds on the London Stock Exchange this year. Their success has triggered the likes of Indian Railway Finance Corporation and National Agri Authority of India.
Increased Investment & Partnership Opportunities
India and UK have agreed to expand three existing smart city partnerships between the the two countries to accelerate smart city technologies.
May said that more 1 billion pounds in deals would be signed during her trip, and by partnering with Modi's initiative to build 100 "smart" cities, British business could unlock a further 2 billion pounds over five years.
Amongst among investments would be an India-UK networked Centre on Solar Energy, and a commitment to build the Thames-Ganga Partnership.