13 Apr 2023 -

UK defence firms has sights on Indian expansion, says UKIBC


British defence companies are aiming to increase their partnerships or create new investments in India, as part of their larger endeavours to diversify their supply chains, claims a UK industry body.

According to Reuters, the UK-India Business Council (UKIBC) CEO Richard McCallum told them, “We have got a group of 22 British defence companies, with collective revenues of about $60 billion, really focused on doing business with and in India.” McCallum did not specify which firms will make new investments or which Indian companies they might be in discussions with.

Reuters reports that Britain has sought to deepen economic, defence and security ties with India, committing to closer links with the Indo-Pacific region, while casting China as an “epoch-defining challenge” to the world order. BAE Systems has a presence in India’s aerospace and defence sector, while MBDA has a venture with Larsen & Toubro. Rolls-Royce (RR.L) is exploring collaborations on jet engine technology.

Negotiations are underway between India and Britain for a free trade agreement that could potentially increase annual bilateral trade by billions of dollars. However, India’s image as an investment destination after challenges on enforcement of contracts and past decisions on retrospective taxes led to years of legal disputes between the Indian government and companies like Vodafone (VOD.L) 

Reuters reports that “investors remain cautious” despite the efforts of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to correct some of these issues.

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