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Britain is India's largest G20 investor and employer

3 min read

01 September 2015

The CBI claimed the UK has remained India's largest G20 investor between 2000 and 2015, despite foreign direct investment (FDI) falling behind countries such as the US, Japan and the Netherlands.

India has “historically attracted FDI directly and indirectly through a number of international business centres,” the report claimed. FDI from UK-headquartered companies constituted $4.4bn (£2.87bn) of the top 25 investments from these centres, according to data from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion for 2000 to 2013.

Furthermore, Britain tops the list when compared to other G20 nations creating jobs in India. UK companies have generated 137,000 jobs – nearly seven per cent of the nation’s 1.96 million jobs to have been created by foreign investment during the financial years 2000 to 2015.

It is estimated that British investments generated 137,4001 direct jobs, with about 31 per cent in the service sector. On average, research firm IMRB claimed that British companies have more than 691,000 employees and a combined revenue of $54bn (£35.20bn) in India. 

British companies are the biggest employers in the chemicals and food processing sectors, generating more than half of the jobs generated by foreign companies in these sectors.

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“The report identifies hundreds of UK companies investing in the future of India, bringing in technology and innovation, and employing a staggering 691,000 people across India,” said Richard Heald, CEO of the UK India Business Council. “Remarkably, British businesses also spend an average seven per cent of total revenue on training and re-skilling employees in India, as well as investing some 4.4 per cent of profits on corporate social responsibility.”

UK firms spend more than double the two per cent on corporate social responsibility programmes required by the Indian government in the Companies Act of 2013, the CBI explained. Beyond just financial investment, British businesses are also actively engaged in educating underprivileged children, ensuring they receive skills training; boosting sustainable development and nurturing entrepreneurial businesses.

“The economic relationship between India and the UK is in fine fettle,” said Katja Hall, CBI director-general. “The UK has played a significant role in India’s growth journey, investing more and creating more jobs than any other G20 nation, as well as going the extra mile on corporate social responsibility.

“We want to make sure this partnership continues to go from strength to strength. Prime minister Modi’s steps to improve the ease of doing business in India is a great boost, and we look forward to the EU-India Free Trade Agreement talks resuming. Building trade links with key markets is mission critical to boosting growth, creating jobs and enhancing productivity across the UK.”