Amritsar, Mar 9 (ANI): To explore trade potential between Punjab and East Midland (UK), a high-level delegation visited Punjab from February 28 to March 7 in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Punjab Link Council, UK.
During their stay in India, the delegation met several business groups from Punjab.
Speaking to the media, Helen Deas, head of the East Midland (UK)-India Business Bureau, said: "India being on the top of UK's business strategy, exports between India and UK have grown tremendously during last few years. Although certain sectors are affected amid financial crisis, overall trade balance has been favourable".
Deas, heading a business delegation of 14 representing various sectors, visited Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar during the tour.
Reiterating the sentiment that Punjab is a natural partner for the East Midlands' region, Deas said that the key theme of the mission is "growth through delivery of shared visions between the Punjab and the East Midlands region of England that matches the Punjab in agri-business, engineering, education, textiles and research."
"The region is keen to develop partnership and share its diverse advanced technologies in space, transport - from rail to motor racing - waste treatment, bio and life sciences and technology and textiles," she added.
East Midland, Deas said, is also host to high quality services, as wide ranging as quality assurance, innovative design education, ICT, skills assessment, and freight support services.
Introducing the delegation, Deas said that UK's most prestigious luxury brand in table and giftware, Royal Crown Derby, was part of the mission. The English counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland have a population of just 4.4 million, but this East Midlands' region hosts nine leading Universities and many excellent colleges - two participating in this mission.
Outlining the plan of their mission to India, Baljit Singh, CEO, Punjab Link Council, UK, said they planned to develop personal business contacts and develop long term, mutually beneficial, business in Punjab.
The delegation discussed India's participation in global multilateral institutions and Indo-UK cooperation in fostering higher education, combating terrorism, building infrastructure and reforming agriculture and augmenting productivity.
Speaking on the standards and conformity assessment, Pyaralel Seth, President, Shawl Club India, said: "High standards and quality play an integral role in the marketplace and, ideally, facilitate trade. As the volume of trade between the United Kingdom and India increases and expands into new areas, increased cooperation and understanding in the area of standards and conformity assessment systems and their role in regulation in both countries have to be focused."
Urging the representatives from Midlands and Punjab to interact frequently, Gunbir Singh, Vice Chairman, CII Punjab State Council and Managing Director, Bambino Holdings Pvt Ltd, welcomed the opportunity of mutual growth and partnership between both the countries.
Gunbir Singh said that investments in India would yield better returns. There was greater scope for extended interaction linking India and East Midland. Punjab has a natural affinity with UK that can be developed to mutual benefit, he said.
Gunbir further said: "Indian economy encouraged friendly environment which offered unmatched opportunities for sustained exports growth. Indian market has great potential as India is the third largest consumer of plastics globally by 2012." By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)