Image: Adnan Abidi / Reuters
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his UK counterpart Theresa May said India and the UK can work together and leverage technological prowess to create new opportunities at the three-day India-UK Tech Summit that began in New Delhi on Monday.
The key focus areas for the two countries include trade, investment, defence and security. “Together, we can create a vibrant and thriving environment for new commercial applications with breakthrough technologies,” said Modi at the event, strengthening India’s growth story and the opportunity it offers foreign businesses and investors. He highlighted several initiatives taken such as building smart cities, and successes in startups and digital economy apart from the “Make in India” campaign that further opens up opportunities in diverse areas.
The UK prime minister, on her part, outlined her agenda for her visit beyond the Europe market. While the first point she said was to identify business opportunities, the second was to look at each other’s priorities as ‘own priorities’. She is currently accompanied by corporates and SMEs who are eager to tap into India’s growth story.
With India undertaking large programmes such as Make in India and Digital India, and the UK expanding its economic and social reforms, the two countries must support each other, said May, adding that the two nations are setting up an India-UK Urban Partnership. It is important to break down barriers and make it easier to do business, she said. “We are helping India improve its ease of doing business but I am determined to go further.” This is May’s first trade mission as prime minister as she focuses outside the European market.
India is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. Its GDP crossed $1 trillion in 2007 which doubled to $2 trillion in 2015. It is now estimated to be around to $5 trillion by 2025. Besides the growth rate, it also enjoys advantageous demographics with 65 percent of the country’s 1.3 billion people under the age of 35, as per estimates of asset management and advisory firm ZyFin.