UK investment in India - what does it mean for both the UK and India?

PwC | CBI Sterling Assets India 2, in association with UK India Business Council

In partnership with CBI and the UK India Business Council (UKIBC), here is the second edition of ‘Sterling assets India’ – a study on the impact of the UK’s foreign direct investment in India.

Our first edition – and the data it contained – has become a strong source of information on the extent of the UK-India business relationship, and we hope this second edition helps to build on that by further showcasing the richness of British investments. This year we have widened the scope of the research, taking into account FDI received directly from the UK, investments from companies of British parentage through third countries and re-investment by British companies in India and jobs generated through these investments – with data and case studies from businesses of all sizes and sectors.

The facts and figures in this report demonstrate the strength of the relationship and the strong business eco-system that the UK’s private sector has built in India. Between 2000 and 2016, the UK invested $24.07 billion in India – increasing its investment by $1.87 billion between 2015 and 2016 – representing 8% of all foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country. The UK also managed to see off tough competition from Japan to remain the largest of all foreign investors into India after Mauritius and Singapore, and significantly ahead of the USA.

British business interests in India span a broad spectrum, both in terms of firms – with several medium-sized businesses taking their place alongside larger companies to do successful business – and sectors, with India attracting investment from industry to services. The chemicals sector receives the lion’s share of British investment in India at $6.1 billion (25% of UK FDI), followed by drugs and pharmaceuticals at $4.1 billion (17%) and food processing at $3.2 billion (14%).

The top reasons British firms invest in India are the size and growth potential of the market, the easy availability of talented workers and the stable political system.

The UK also remains the largest job creator in India via FDI. Between 2000 and 2016, British FDI created 371,000 jobs – 10% of all jobs created by FDI. The total number of people employed by British companies in India currently stands at 788,000 – representing 5.3%, or one in twenty, of private sector jobs.

“India offers excellent opportunities for UK businesses looking to engage in a fast-growing emerging economy. Building ever closer business ties with India will be critical, especially at this current time, given the changing global and European stage.

It is encouraging to see that confidence among British and Indian business leaders has increased in comparison to last year. According to PwC’s latest CEO Survey, 75% of Indian CEOs are ‘very confident’ about their company’s prospects for revenue growth over the next three years, compared to 41% globally, adding to India’s attraction as a place to invest.”

Kevin Burrowes Executive board member and head of clients and markets at PwC UK

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