Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his recent visit to the United Kingdom held talks, in the presence of his British counterpart David Cameron, with high-profile businessmen from India and the UK on 13 November. The event labeled, India-UK CEOs Forum, saw the attendance of leading business figures from the two countries, including from the Indian side, Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry, Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Mittal, Lulu Group Chairman Yusuff Ali M.A., CEO of Tata Consultancy Services N. Chandrasekaran and Bharat Forge Chairman Baba Kalyani.
Meanwhile, the UK side was represented by Chairman of Standard Life Sir Gerry Grimstone, the Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank Sir John Peace, Vodafone CEO Vitorioa Colao, BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley, HSBC Chairman Douglas Flint, Rolls Royce CEO Warren East and others.
Speaking at the Forum, PM Modi called for a globally integrated economy. Saying that cooperation between India and Britain was mutually beneficial, he urged the CEOs to invest in the growing Indian economy. Adding that people of both countries had a historic relationship and were economically very compatible, the prime minister called for greater participation by the private sector.
Two areas the Indian prime minister highlighted in his speech were the defense industry where the country was looking for technological expertise, and developing the rail network in the country through Public Private Partnerships. Stressing his government pro-active approach to business, the PM also emphasized his ‘Make in India’ program and skill development as being critical to the country’s economic development.
For his part, Prime Minister Cameron voiced his support for India and said the both countries have the political will to take their economic relationship forward. The CEOs Forum is expected to identify new areas of opportunity, promote projects which will enable these opportunities to be realized and examine bilateral issues which, if addressed, would catalyze business between the two countries.