News and Insight


2030 Roadmap for India-UK future relations – Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering May 2021

Finding the right Indian State for you February 2021

India’s Union Budget 2021 – Focus on growth and stability February 2021

Group CEO Richard Heald: There is a huge opportunity to move UK-India economic agenda forward in key areas January 2021

The journey of post-Brexit ‘Global Britain’ has officially begun Kealan Finnegan, UKIBC Manager, January 2021

A Bright Future for the UK-India Trade and Investment Relationship Kevin McCole, UKIBC Managing Director, December 2020

India’s energy transition – opportunities for the UK Prasenjit Dhar, UKIBC Associate Director, September 2020

14th UK-India JETCO sees commitment to enhanced trade partnership Kealan Finnegan, UKIBC Manager, July 2020

Government of India raises FDI limit in defence manufacturing – Kealan Finnegan, UKIBC Manager, May 2020

Government of India announces Rs 20 trillion economic package – measures to support MSMEs – Kealan Finnegan, UKIBC Manager, May 2020

COVID-19 Business Support: The collaboration curve is rising – Jonathan Ursell, UKIBC Director, May 2020

COVID-19 Business Support: New opportunities to continue business as usual – Jonathan Ursell, UKIBC Director, April 2020

India approves schemes aiming to become an Electronics Manufacturing Hub – Prasenjit Dhar, AIP Programme Manager, April 2020

India Budget 2020-21 – what is in it for the engineering manufacturing sector? – Prasenjit Dhar, AIP Programme Manager, March 2020


Prime Ministers Modi and Jonhson announce 2030 Roadmap for India-UK future relations May 2021

Government of Uttar Pradesh and UKIBC hold roundtable on Defence & Security Opportunities April 2021

UKIBC launch report on the impact of UK businesses on the SDGs in India March 2021

Government of Tamil Nadu and UK India Business Council sign MoU to strengthen the state’s industrial development February 2021

SCR Mayor and regional businesses hold roundtables with Pune Mayor and Indian businesses February 2021

Essar and Progressive Energy join forces to deliver the UK’s first low carbon hydrogen production hub January 2021

Launch of UKIBC’s 6th Annual Report on Doing Business in India October 2020

UK Defence Industry submissions reflected in MoD’s Defence Acquisition Procedure October 2020

West Bengal Government and UK India Business Council sign MoU to strengthen the State’s industrial development September 2020

14th UK-India JETCO sees commitment to enhanced trade partnership – Kealan Finnegan, UKIBC Manager, July 2020

Maharashtra Government and UKIBC extend MOU to foster sustainable business relations between UK and India – UK India Business Council (July 2020)

GOI’s PLI scheme aims to boost domestic manufacturing and attract large investments in the electronics value chain. – Invest India (May 2020)

Finance Minister announce measures for relief and credit support related to businesses, especially MSMEs to support Indian Economy’s fight against COVID-19 – Press Information Bureau, Government of India (May 2020)

UKIBC submit recommendations to Indian MOD on draft DPP 2020 – May 2020

New Schemes for Electronics Manufacturing – Invest India (March 2020)

Bonded Manufacturing: Scheme for Manufacturing and Processing in a Bonded Facility – Invest India (March 2020)

Doing Business in India

As one of the largest economies in the world and one that is continuing to rise, India is an attractive place to invest.

India is home to the world’s second largest population and soon to be the largest. A growing middle class, rising affluence, and growing numbers of university graduates makes India a huge market for labour, consumption and production.

Investment climate in India has improved considerably since the opening up of the economy in 1991. This is largely attributed to ease in FDI norms across sectors of the economy.

India today ranks 63rd on Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) and globally ranks 1st in the greenfield FDI ranking. It ranks 68th on the Global Competitiveness Index 2018-19.

India received over $64 billion of FDI in 2018-19, with the sectors to have attracted the highest inflows including services, computer software and hardware, telecommunications, and construction.

The service sector makes up 55.6% of GDP and remains the fastest growing sector, while the industrial sector and the agricultural sector employs majority of the labour force.

Government of India initiatives

The Government of India has introduced several key initiatives aimed to drive the economy, encourage investment and support development. These include:

Make In India – Make in India was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 September 2014. It is designed to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skill development, protect intellectual property and build best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure, with a focus on 25 sectors of the economy.

Digital India – An initiative of the Government of India that aims to transform India into a knowledge-based economy and digitally empowered society. This includes ensuring digital access, digital inclusion, digital empowerment and bridging the digital divide.

Skill India – This initiative of the Ministry of Skill Development aims to provide skilling to more than 10 mn people annually. The training and assessment fee under this scheme is borne by the Government. Under the phase 2 of the scheme, 3.3 mn candidates were trained for 250 job roles.

Startup India – This flagship initiative of Government of India intends to build a strong ecosystem that is conducive for the growth of Start-ups. To drive sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities, it aims to empower start-ups to grow through innovation and design.

Smart Cities – Government of India is on a mission to rejuvenate and transform Indian cities. It aims to create 100 smart cities in India through several initiatives. SPVs were incorporated in all 100 cities by December 2018.

Swachh Bharat Mission – Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) aims to accelerate the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage in India and promote access to safe sanitation.

Accelerating Growth of New India’s Innovation – AGNIi is an initiative that aims to support the ongoing efforts to boost the innovation ecosystem in the country.

PM-STIAC Brochure – PM-STIAC is an overarching Council that facilitates the Principal Scientific Adviser’s Office to assess the status in specific science and technology domains, comprehend challenges in hand, formulate specific interventions, develop a futuristic roadmap and advise the Prime Minister accordingly.

For more information on these and other Government of India initiatives, visit

For more information on the opportunities in India by sector, visit

For more information on India’s states, visit


AIP – Launch of Phase II

On Friday 17th January, the High Commission of India (HCI) in partnership with UKIBC, launched phase II of the Access India Programme at India House in London. This flagship programme of HCI supports small and medium UK manufacturing enterprises to enter India through end-to-end market entry support, working towards the wider make in India programme.

UKIBC will continue our role as knowledge partners to the HCI to develop AIP into this exciting second phase. In addition to supporting 50 companies that have already been selected in the initial phase, HCI and UKIBC will select at least 20 more companies to join in phase II and support them through workshops, introductions, mentoring, and facilitating partnerships. 

AIP – Launch of First Cohort and Programme Update

The High Commission of India in London’s flagship programme – the Access India Programme (AIP) has reached an exciting landmark. The First Cohort of 24 UK SMEs to be taken on board AIP was announced during the recent visit of PM Modi and his senior delegation to the UK. A meeting of these companies with Mr Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary DIPP and Invest India CEO, Mr Deepak Bagla was organised on 19 April 2018. Some of the larger UK companies including Perkins, BAE Systems, JCB, Rolls Royce, Renishaw and TWI, who are involved as mentors for AIP, were also present at the meeting.

The various outreach events, activities and interactions across the UK that we have organised since the launch of the Access India Programme, have helped increase awareness about the programmme and has started providing an unique insight into the mindsets of UK medium and small businesses and their export / international investment plans.

We have been able to reach out directly to over 400 UK businesses and some key multipliers to inform them about the programme and its benefits. This number is much higher when we consider the numbers who have been informed and sensitised about the AIP through the website and social media. The interest from UK SMEs in the Indian market has been extremely encouraging.

We have received a very good response from UK companies for participating in AIP. These companies are spread across various sectors and some of them have products and technologies which have applications in multiple sectors. Key sectors of interest include

– Aerospace
– Defence & Security
– Automotive
– Advanced manufacturing
– Energy
– Advanced materials
– Food processing
– Medtech and Healthcare
– Fintech
– Cyber security
– Niche and Innovative Technologies across various sectors

As we go ahead with the first cadre of companies for AIP, we are keen to encourage more UK medium and small businesses with innovative products and manufacturing technologies to apply to the programme. Please apply on this website. We look forward to finalising and launching the second and subsequent cohorts over the next few months.



AIP in the News & Press Releases


The announcement is further proof that the UK-India trade relationship is strengthening at an important time for both countries

LONDON, September 27, 2017 – The High Commission of India in London, and the UK India Business Council (UKIBC), have today announced the inception of the ‘Access India Programme’ – a market entry support programme aimed at facilitating investments by UK SMEs in India. This programme builds upon the flagship programme of Government of India, ‘Make in India’. It is the first of its kind to implement the ‘Make in India’ concept to facilitate investments from the UK.

Launched on September 27 in London at the High Commission of India by High Commissioner Mr Y. K. Sinha, the ‘Access India Programme’ is designed to provide UK businesses with the necessary market entry support critical for market entry decisions and successful entry into the Indian market. Indian High Commission and UKIBC will study and thereafter identify UK SMEs which have considerable potential to succeed in the Indian Market.

By using rigorous diagnostics and analysis of SMEs potential, the partnership will look to create a transformative blended programme, linking SMEs to a strong support networks of prime manufacturers, OEMs, trade bodies and Chambers of Commerce.

The programme is far-reaching, and will be implemented with the support of not only the concerned Central and State Government Ministries in India, but also by engaging key industry partners who can support UK companies in various aspects of market entry into India. These will include advisory, law, taxation and accounting firms. Some larger UK companies with operations in India will provide mentoring support to the selected AIP SMEs.

The UK India Business Council will assist HCI London to plan, structure, implement, coordinate, and monitor the AIP programme with other programme partners, and assist in the entry of selected UK companies into India.

The Indian High Commissioner to the UK said;

“We are launching the Access India Programme (AIP), a first of its kind in the UK, to facilitate investments by small and medium scale enterprises 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 of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. 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.”

UK India Business Council Group CEO, Richard Heald said;

“We look forward to working with the High Commission of India on this important initiative. This is further proof that the UK-India economic relationship is ever-strengthening at a crucial time for both countries.

“As an organisation with specific contracts with the UK Government and Indian Government through dialogues such as JETCO, EFD and the UK India CEO Forum, we are well placed to deliver. Once implemented, we’re sure that this partnership will go some way to ensuring UK businesses get the platform they need to succeed in India.”

UKIBC and High Commission of India launch phase II of AIP – By UKIBC | Jan 17, 2020

India launches programme to attract UK investments – By PTI | Sep 27, 2017

India woos SMEs in Britain – By The Hindu | Sep 27, 2017

India to roll out red carpet to UK SMEs – By The Times of India | Sep 27, 2017

India launches programme to attract UK investments – Featured in the Deccan Herald | Sep 27 2017

Indian trade initiative opens door to small UK businesses – By The Express | Oct 1, 2017

Indian High Commission launches Access India Programme for SMEs – By News Release India | Oct 1, 2017

New scheme to help UK SMEs break into India – By India GB News | Oct 2, 2017

UK Fintech firms hold talks to access the Indian market – By Gadgets Now | Feb 22, 2018