Senior figures from Amec, Balfour Beatty and Tata and politicians meet to discuss setting up board to advise Indian government
Senior MPs and company bosses met for dinner last night to discuss opportunities for the UK to take advantage of the $500bn (£300bn) the Indian government plans to spend on infrastructure over the next five years.
Attending the dinner were senior representatives of UK companies Scott Wilson, Balfour Beatty Rail, Amec, JCB and Barclays Capital as well Indian companies Tata, Wipro, IIFCL and ICICI bank. Politicians present included Barry Gardiner, chair of the all-party parliamentary group, Patricia Hewitt, chair of the UK-India business council, and Geoffrey Clifton Brown, the shadow trade minister.
The all-party parliamentary group on UK-India trade and investment relations hopes to understand the barriers to British contract wins in India. Opportunities include the $50bn (£30bn) Delhi to Mumbai industrial corridor and high-speed railway lines connecting major cities. £4.5bn is earmarked to upgrade 25 airports and £27bn for roads and highway development. There are also plans for 276 port projects, valued at £6.3bn.
Plans are underway to set up a UK-India infrastructure board, comprising UK executives from banks, financiers, developers, infrastructure consultants, NGOs and universities, before the new year. Together they will offer complete packages, rather than piecemeal solutions, to the Indian government at national and state level. It is believed that this could be crucial as India is looking to fund 25% of its infrastructure through public private partnerships.
Delhi and Mumbai international airports became India’s first two PPP joint venture airports with investment in both airports estimated at more than £1.9bn. Mott Macdonald developed the masterplan for Delhi’s new international airport, which will ultimately have a capacity to handle 100 million passengers every year.
Several other UK firms are already working in India, including Bombardier, which supplies metro cars to the Delhi metro, Pinsent Masons, which supplies legal services for Delhi airport and Beckett Rankine, which did the masterplan for the new port of Krishnapatnam, north of Chennai.
More than 70 countries have come to the UK seeking advice on PPP. The UK has helped Singapore develop its PPP model, and it is now taking forward projects in education and sports infrastructure development.