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UK-India CEO Forum to be Revived
Nov 20, 2015

India and the UK plan to revive the previously established UK-India CEO Forum, amid hopes that a group with a strong practical focus could help push commercial and trade relations between the two countries. Attending the forum at Downing Street during his visit with CEOs from top companies in the UK and India, including the Tata Group, Standard Chartered, and Vodafone, Prime Ministers David Cameron and Narendra Modi urged business leaders to identify ways to improve trade, investment and economic collaboration.

  • The forum will be chaired by Sir Gerry Grimstone, Chairman of Standard Life, and Cyrus Mistry, Chair of the Tata Group.

  • Members of the Forum on the Indian side will include Sunil Bharti Mittal, the chair of Bharti Enterprises Ltd; TK Kurien, CEO of Wipro; Tulsi Tanti, CMD of Suzlon Group, and Atul Punj, Chairman of Punj Lloyd.

  • On the UK side they include Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP; Lord Ajay Kakkar of UCL Partners; Sir John Peace, Chair of Standard Chartered; Vittorio Colao CEO of Vodafone; Warren East, CEO of Rolls Royce; Douglas Flint Chair of HSBC; and Ian King, CEO of BAE Systems.

  • The group of 20 CEOs from each side identified six areas for focus including smart cities, health care, education and skills, engineering, defence and security, and financial services.

  • Industries on both sides wanted a business environment characterized by simplicity in structures, and processes, clarity and transparency in decision-making and uniformity and consistency in the treatment of corporates and people across borders.

  • There was a realisation that the earlier business forum was not as effective. It was seen as more of a think tank, a forum for discussion but I am given to understand the focus now is now implementation. There is a much more practical side to this.

In the forum, PM Narendra Modi highlighted the changes to the tax regime, and transparent auction and allocation systems for natural resources. He added that the government remained open to making the necessary corrections to policies and procedures. 


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