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Don’t miss the 5th Annual UK-India Leadership Conclave

By oneindia staff

India Inc. Founder & CEO Manoj Ladwa presents a sneak-peek into a landmark event aimed at enhancing the UK-India strategic relationship, focusing on the road ahead as Global Britain meets Global India.

As regular readers will know, India Inc. has long been a passionate votary of closer UK-India relations. My team and I have been enthusiastically encouraging the dozens of well-known individuals and institutions and scores of faceless well-wishers in the UK, in India and elsewhere who have been at the frontlines and in the trenches of the efforts to transform what has unfortunately become a very transactional bilateral relationship into a transformational one.

Don’t miss the 5th Annual UK-India Leadership Conclave

And even as we have reported on and analysed the big picture and the nuances that make up this otherwise warm bilateral partnership, we have in our own humble way, also contributed a little to the effort to build bridges between a post-Brexit Global Britain and a post-liberalisation Global India.

As part of this ongoing effort to bring the two governments and the two peoples closer and to transform the strategic partnership between the world's fifth and sixth largest economies, India Inc. is organising its 5th annual UK-India Leadership Conclave later this month - under the aegis of the inaugural UK-India Week (June18-22), which celebrates the strong partnership between the UK and India.

The UK-India Week, which is expected to help promote opportunities for future collaboration between the two countries, will feature the following programmes:

  • The 5th Annual UK-India Leadership Conclave: The landmark event for growing and developing the UK and India's strategic relationship, this year focusing on the road ahead as Brexit Britain meets Global India
  • The UK-India Awards 2018: This flagship awards ceremony celebrates the bold and unique partnership between the UK and India, recognising the innovative and path-breaking British and Indian individuals and organisations that are making a significant impact on this global partnership.

Bringing together over 400 senior leaders from the world of business, politics, diplomacy, arts & culture, the awards will showcase the very best of collaboration between the two countries at a glittering ceremony on the evening of June 22.

The UK-India Awards are adjudicated by a panel of business and political leaders:

  • Lord Marland, Chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council * Hon. Barry Gardiner MP, Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade
  • Rt. Hon Priti Patel MP, former Secretary of State for International Development
  • Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder & Chairman of Bharti Enterprises
  • Barkha Dutt, Author & Broadcaster * Edwina Dunn, CEO, Starcount
  • 100 Most Influential People in UK India Relations: The second edition of this power-packed listing, launched at the opening reception of UK-India Week, honours and celebrates the achievements of the top 100 individuals who made the maximum impact in strengthening the bilateral relationship.
  • The High Commissioners' Cup: An invitation-only, one-day golf tournament that will bring together key diplomatic and business figures from across the Commonwealth, in aid of HRH Prince Charles' British Asian Trust.

This event, as well as similar efforts by other institutions and individuals, comes at a time when experts see new opportunities and even a new momentum in bilateral ties that are coming out of a prolonged period of drift.

Turning its back on a tradition going back at least 450 years, the UK had, for more than four decades till Brexit, looked more towards the European Union (EU) for trade and other bilateral and multilateral engagements than towards the India and the rest of the world.

And India, since the end of the Cold War and the beginning of its own economic integration with the world in 1991, has drawn closer to the US and the countries in Asia (think: Look East and now Act East). Through this period of benign official neglect, though, the political leadership of both countries continued making the right noises about historical ties and the need for closer bilateral collaboration.
During this period, it was people-to-people contacts, mainly engendered by the 1.5 million-strong expatriate Indian community in Britain, evocatively called the "Living Bridge" by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the efforts of the Indian business sector, which entered the UK in droves, that kept the UK-India relationship on an even keel.

This relationship is more important today than, arguably, any time in history. In a time of redefinition around the world, the UK and India remain closely-connected. UK-India Week is a catalyst to unleash the potential for business and cultural exchange between these two global powers and to spur them to further tackle global challenges together.

India is fast becoming a driving force in global growth and the UK is starting to manoeuvre its bilateral ties on a new footing. Working together strategically, the two partners can drive transformation in industries and international relations. To do this, we must rise to meet a number of challenges. The UK must consolidate its role as India's gateway to Europe and tackle new barriers to free trade with India.

The Conclave later this month is a small effort to recognise the efforts of people - both in Britain as well as in India - who have worked quietly and often without any expectation of reward toward bringing this very important, if subtly understated, emerging global partnership to its current inflexion point from which, many of us are hoping, it can go on to become one of the defining economic-political-strategic relationships of the 21st century.

As economic partners, the UK and India can be more than just transactional partners - they can have a transformational throughout the world. Together they can forge even deeper partnerships on research and education, unleash the potential of the next generation, collaborate on new technologies and unlock new funding for growth.

For those who want to be a part of these discussions and high-impact networking, UK-India Week will be unmissable.

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