Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the ‘Make in India’ programme to encourage international companies to base their operations in India so that they can not only benefit from the huge Indian market but also export to other countries around the world. Under this programme, we are launching the Access India Programme (AIP), a first of its kind in the UK, to facilitate investments by small and medium scale companies in the UK into India.
In the last three years India has received Foreign Direct Investments worth US$175 billion. Government of India is committed and focussed to improving India’s ranking in ease of doing business. Through AIP, we aim to take forward the Make in India programme. I hope that by implementing this programme, we can highlight the latest developments in India in ease of doing business, facilitate initiatives by SMEs and enhance bilateral investment between the two countries.
UKIBC was our Knowledge Partner for the phase one. And for the second phase also, UKIBC continues to be our Knowledge Partner.
Since the launch of its first phase in September 2017, Access India Programme has selected 50 companies from all over UK in two cohorts. Now, with that continuity of Knowledge Partner, we will select minimum of 20 new companies in the second phase of Access India Programme.
We have made enviable progress in improving in making India business friendly. It is recorded in the World Bank’s latest Ease of Doing Business Report 2019 that India has further improved its ranking to reach 63rd position in the Ease of Doing Business global rankings in 2019 from 142 in 2015. It shows rise of 79 positions in just 5 years.
This improved business climate and hand holding support through Access India Program will help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) of UK to establish in India.
SMEs are backbone of our economy. They create jobs and niche products for the market. Big industries rely on SMEs as a support system in their supply chain. A large number of SMEs are actively strengthening the Indian economy. Whether it is agriculture, manufacturing or service industry, SMEs are mushrooming in a myriad of sectors across the country.
SMEs accounts for 45 percent of industrial output and 40 percent of the total exports in India. It generates employment for 60 million people and creates 1.3 million jobs every year. Given that a majority of India’s population lives in villages and Tier-1/Tier 2 cities, the SME sector has also emerged as a key factor to urbanise rural India.
Larger companies and businesses of UK who are working in India can encourage their supply chain SMEs to establish in India under the AIP II. High Commission and UKIBC will be happy to support them.