- Even though some of these problems have been fixed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, investors are still wary.
- Heald said that the UKIBC wants to see more clarity on how money will be protected to help boost trust even more.
An industry group said on Thursday that British defense companies plan to increase their partnerships or make new investments in India. This is part of a larger move to diversify their supply chains.
Britain has tried to strengthen its economic, defense, and security ties with India. It has also promised to build stronger ties with the Indo-Pacific region, while painting China as a “epoch-defining challenge” to the world order.
Richard McCallum, the head of the UK-India Business Council (UKIBC), told Reuters, “We have a group of 22 British defense companies with about $60 billion in sales that are really focused on doing business with and in India.”
He said that about 11 have already set up joint ventures or subsidiaries in India, and that all of them want to do more.
BAE Systems has an office in India, MBDA has a joint partnership with Larsen & Toubro, and Rolls-Royce wants to work together on jet engine technology.
McCallum didn’t say which companies will make new investments or which Indian companies they might be talking to.
McCallum said in an interview, “We think it’s important to have India as part of your supply chain.”
India and Britain are also talking about a free trade deal that could add billions of dollars to the amount of money they trade with each other every year.
Richard Heald, who is the chair of the UKIBC, told Reuters that green finance and sustainable energy were also places where the two groups could work together.
But problems with contract enforcement and choices made in the past about retrospective taxes led to years of legal battles between the Indian government and companies like Vodafone, which hurt India’s reputation as a place to invest.
Even though some of these problems have been fixed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, investors are still wary.
Heald said that the UKIBC wants to see more clarity on how money will be protected to help boost trust even more.
Heald said that India’s disputes with British companies, which were settled over a number of years, had “cast a long shadow on the operating environment,” but that a lot of progress had been made since then.