Impressing dignitaries with her powerful speech through a Special Address at the House of Lords, UK Parliament last fortnight, entrepreneur Manasi Kirloskar, Executive Director of Kirloskar Systems Ltd., rekindled the confidence amongst Indian and UK businesses, as also, provided a fresh thrust to further business opportunities between the two countries.
Ms. Kirloskar had been invited as a Distinguished Guest and Speaker at the 17th annual London Global Convention of IOD (Institute of Directors, India). She was talking on ‘Indo-UK Trade Relations’.
Armed with well-researched statistics and elaborating on trade, Manasi said “As far as trade between our two nations is concerned, at the present UK ranks 15th in the list of India’s top trading partners. The UK is India’s 6th largest export market and is 22nd amongst the countries exporting to India. The India-UK bilateral trade in goods and services in 2015 amounted to £16.33 billion with India enjoying a surplus in both merchandise and services trade. As I pondered through the trade data, the thing that strikes me the most is the huge potential that remains untapped. More disturbingly, with the exception of 2017, the trade between India and UK has been declining over the last few years. So the two countries face the immediate challenge of finding ways of exploring newer areas that can provide sustained momentum to growth in trade so as to realize the available potential that exists. This will also automatically reverse the declining trend in trade between the two countries seen in the recent past”.
Pitching for a further boost in trade between the two countries, she explained what was, and what could be done by saying “One of the reasons for low trade share and declining trade between India and UK is the narrow range of items being currently traded. The main items exported from India to the UK include apparels (19.1%), machinery and mechanical appliances (8.1%), vehicles and their parts (7.2%), jewelry related items (5.6%), pharmaceuticals (5.2%) and footwear (4.8%). The major items of import from the UK consist of machinery and mechanical appliances (15.7%), jewellery related items (7.9%), electrical machinery, equipment and parts (9%) etc. Interestingly, most of India’s imports from the UK are of intermediate products, which are manufactured and become India’s finished products, especially in India’s traditional exports.”
“Although the UK became the second largest exporter of services globally in 2015, with exports worth US$349 billion, and the fifth largest importer of services, with total imports of US$212 billion, the share of the UK’s exports and imports of services from and to India remains under 2%. There is obviously a huge potential to increase trade in services between the two countries. It is important to broaden and diversify trade items. Not restricting it to Goods but to also extend its potential towards knowledge transfer in the area of Medical care and Education, for instance,” she said.
Concluding on an impressive note, she said “I would like to submit that whilst the strong intent of both the Governments will definitely be a deciding factor for the future of economic relations between our nations, it will be the sincerity of intent and the strength of the people to people relations that will shape the determination of the Governments.”