UK Finance Minister Philip Hammond boosts collaboration between the UK and Indian FinTech sectors with the recent visit. Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has just returned from leading a visit to India with the objective of promoting the UK’s FinTech sector, with the message ‘Make in India, Finance in UK’ in an effort to bolster international trade post-Brexit.

This move follows from PM Theresa May putting Article 50 into effect last week, essentially setting the Brexit ball rolling.

The visit, beginning in Delhi with a meeting with India’s finance minister, Arun Jaitley, kickstarted on April 3. It consisted of Hammond and other top financial policymakers including business secretary Greg Clark, attending the ninth UK-India Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) summit.The highlight of this trip was the unveiling of a joint investment of £240 million by the UK and Indian governments to encourage investment into India’s rapidly growing energy and renewables market, also furthering trading ties between the two countries.

Through their interactions, the ministers attempted to showcase how Britain is still open for business through a series of announcements, including plans for increased collaboration between the UK and Indian FinTech sectors.

The trip has been portrayed as a significant opportunity for the Chancellor to discuss Britain’s new role in the world, as it attempts to revitalize its links with friends and allies, opening up new markets and new opportunities for British businesses.

During the visit, Hammond’s focus was on “Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Make in India’ vision, which is devised to transform the country into a global manufacturing hub”.

He defined in clear terms how the UK is perfectly placed to become India’s leading finance partner to help it deliver on its plans, with Hammond and Jaitley unveiling the India-UK Financial Partnership Papers, detailing the nature of their collaboration.

The visiting party also traveled to Mumbai with the objective of promoting UK’s fintech sector. They met with Rise Mumbai, a global fintech community, for an open dialogue and exchange of ideas regarding fintech in both countries.

Hammond also went on to speak at the UK-India Fintech conference in Mumbai, as well as witnessed the stamping of the first Lloyd’s Onshore Reinsurance Policy in India. Meetings and an informal lunch were also conducted with Anand Mahindra, a key investor in UK fintech.

A move encouraging investment from the City of London into India’s energy sector has also been set into motion through a UK-India sub-fund of India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund. With a core investment of £120 million from each government, the objective is to raise £500 million for Indian infrastructure projects.

The fund’s initial focus will be on India’s rapidly growing energy and renewables market, with a fund manager expected to be selected by the time autumn rolls around.

In yet more developments, the UK’s secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) also landed in India to take part in the first talks between the two countries aimed at deepening energy cooperation between India and the UK. Greg Clark will meet with his ministerial counterparts over 6-7 April as part of the inaugural India-UK Energy for Growth Dialogue, seeking to agree priority areas for bilateral collaboration and a business delegation of over 40 companies set to explore commercial opportunities.

As part of the proposals, both countries plan to take forward a regulatory cooperation agreement that has the objective of making it easier for both countries to exchange expertise and know-how on emerging trends and regulatory issues, also facilitating investment in the UK and Indian FinTech. Chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond said:

As we prepare to leave the European Union, it is more important than ever that we strengthen our relationship with India, one of the world’s leading economies and one of our oldest friends and allies. Our trade and investment relationship is already strong – the UK has been the largest G20 investor in India during the last 10 years and India is a leading global investor in the UK, creating over 7,000 new jobs last year alone, but there is much more we can do. 

The trip included delegates like Eileen Burbidge, partner at Passion Capital and HM Treasury FinTech Envoy; Christoph Rieche, co-founder of Iwoca; and Kristo Kaarman, co-founder of TransferWise.

Commenting on the coming trip and the UK’s position in the global FinTech arena, Burbridge said:

It’s brilliant to see so many FinTech-related initiatives announced as part of this Economic Financial Dialogue. Since the UK is the world’s leading FinTech hub, we look forward to supporting the growing FinTech ecosystem of India – and exchanging ideas, talent and investment between our two countries.

She also talked about the trip being symbolic of a signal to UK FinTech companies, SMEs, and larger financial services institutions alike, making future collaborations much easier.

Another recent collaboration worth noting is British firm Standard Chartered, employing over 18,000 people in India, recently sponsoring a new Chevening Scholarship program between the two countries. This will feature eight top Indian leaders of the future attend an intensive course in financial services in London this year.

Picture credits: Business Standard
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