India second biggest investor in Britain
19 June 2009: Even as a section of workers are resorting to strikes and other forms of protests against jobs to immigrants, the contribution of foreign companies to the British economy is far from negligible, at least this is what the figures indicate.
Indian investments have led to 4,139 new jobs since last year, contributing to a total pool of nearly 8,000 British jobs that the Indians have created amid job-losses brought on by the global recession.
According to the figures released by the British government’s trade and investment department, despite the global meltdown, India has emerged second biggest investor in Britain, with a 44 per cent jump in the number of projects the country created since 2008.
Figures reveal the projects created or brought in by Indian investments number 108. It is second to top-ranking US’s 621 and just ahead of third-ranked France’s 101.
The figures come at a time when unemployment is soaring in the UK; and the workers at oil and gas plants, besides construction sites across the country, are indulging in a series of strikes over the use of cheap overseas labour. The far-right British National Party, with its anti-immigration policy, too has registered a two-seat victory in the elections.
“We are delighted with this news. There is absolutely no doubt that Indian investment into the UK has grown substantially over the last decade,” Britain’s Minister for Trade, Investment and Business Mervyn Davies said.
In 2007-08, Indian investments ranked seventh in a list of 53 of the world’s leading economies.
Davies, who was in India for business and official meetings last week, said India and Britain now needed to forge partnerships in new areas, including aerospace and advanced security, to give their business ties a further boost.
Davies said he had met with representatives of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at the Paris air show recently and discussed entering into “partnerships” with India in the areas of aerospace and advanced security, in which Britain had “excellence”.
“That is clearly over the next few years a huge area of focus for UKTI (department of Trade and Industry),” he asserted. Davies said he was “incredibly pleased” with the investment figures – a rare bit of good news in the current recessionary climate.
“Global flows of Foreign Direct Investments were forecast to fall very heavily. Yet, more investments are coming into the UK than anytime before,” Davies added.