Woodfines Strengthen Ties with India

Stephen Oliver, a partner at Woodfines’ Cambridge office, attended the annual UK-India Business Convention organised by UKIBC (UK India Business Council) in New Delhi between 10th and 12th September.

Stephen Oliver Business Lawyer Solicitor Cambridge Commercial

The conference brought together politicians and businesses from the UK and India to discuss improving trade between the two countries. The UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Sajid Javid, made a flying one-day visit to the conference to give a keynote address which demonstrates the UK Government’s commitment to promoting trade between the two nations. Other prominent UK attendees at the conference included Luis Alvarez, CEO of BT Global Systems; Mark Simpson, Vice President of BAE Systems; Sir Gerry Grimstone, Chairman of Standard Life; and Patricia Hewitt, MP.

The conference saw the launch of UK India Business Council’s Report on British Business in India 2015 which set out a number of key findings. The UK is the third largest foreign investor into India with a total annual investment of $4.48 billion for the year end January 2015, which is double the amount of investment from the previous year. According to the report, there are currently in excess of 550 companies operating in India (although that figure may be in fact higher). Half of those companies have an annual turnover of up to £5million.

Of specific interest to the Cambridge business community is that Cambridge ranks second only to London in the list of headquarter locations of those UK companies investing in India, demonstrating in the international reach and attraction of Cambridge as a commercial centre.

After attending the conference, Stephen travelled to Mumbai to attend the launch of a newly acquired 8,280 Ro-Ro vessel, the Maria India, by Woodfines’ client Link Shipping and used the opportunity to meet Indian lawyers and other Indian businesses with UK business interests. Stephen reports that there is growing interest from the Indian business community in Cambridge as a destination for inward investment from India, not only in the hi-tech sectors but also in such areas as property investment where Cambridge is viewed as a prestigious but more affordable alternative to London.

Woodfines is committed to promoting links between the Cambridge business community and the business community in India. The firm has developed strong links with counterpart advisors in India and has been involved in a number of cross-border matters between the two countries including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and cross-border disputes. If you intend to enter the Indian market or have already done so but need advice, please get in touch with Stephen Oliver.