New Delhi: Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and The City of London Corporation, today organised a special virtual event entitled, ‘UK – India Investing for Growth Forum’. This virtual forum took place as part of the 10th UK-India Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD), following the formal ministerial dialogue. This exclusive forum brought together UK and Indian stakeholders to discuss on how finance can be mobilised in the economic recovery and simultaneously pave the way for a resilient future.
FICCI and City of London are together anchoring the India-UK Sustainable Finance Working Group established after the 9th EFD, and comprising of senior executives from some of India’s largest lenders (banks and non-banks), investors (asset managers, pension funds) representing the interests of the providers of capital/finance, and also has amongst its members some of the largest issuers and borrowers to represent the interest of the beneficiaries of such capital/finance.
Lord Mayor of the City of London, Rt Hon Alderman William Russell in his opening remarks mentioned about the persistent financing gap in infrastructure sector in India and the need to mobilise private capital at pace and scale to finance Infrastructure in India. Finances will have a substantial role to play in building back better. He said that sustainable finance is a great example of working together to ensure recovery. Working together we can ensure that recovery is fit for decades to come, he added.
The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer said that the UK is the second fastest growing G-20 investor in India over the last decade. Sustainable finance provides a significant opportunity for UK-India relationship. In the next 20 years, India is estimated to require USD 4.5 trillion investments in sustainable infrastructure. The UK, with deep and liquid capital markets, can play an enormous role to provide climate finance to meet that need, especially as we look at UK’s Presidency of COP26 next year. We are pleased to announce the establishment of a new UK-India Sustainable Finance Forum, he added.
Dr C S Mohapatra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance stated that Government of India has taken several measures to contain this economic loss. He also stated about GoI’s INR 20 lakh crore relief package (which was almost 10% of the GDP) announced in May’20 which included grains to the poor, tax relief for MSMEs, industries, working capital facility at concessional rates guaranteed by GoI along with liquidity boosting measures such as interest rate cuts. These measures were aimed at not only creating demand but boosting the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative of the GoI.
He also welcomed the India-UK Sustainable Finance Working Group and looked forward to seeing as to how we can move forward on some of the action points provided by the Working Group, working alongside HMT. Sustainable finance will become even more important in the current context of a pandemic-hit world, as corporates and financial institutions will need to reorient themselves to a more sustainable and resilient future. We look to global investors investing in India for sustainable growth, and in new clean, green and sustainable sectors of the economy, he added.
Mr Hitendra Dave, India Co-Chair, India-UK Sustainable Finance Working Group & Managing Director and Head of Global Banking and Markets, HSBC India and Mr Richard Abel, UK Co-Chair, India-UK Sustainable Finance Working Group in India, and Managing Director, UK Climate Investments said, “We are delighted that the Chancellor and Finance Minister have welcomed the work of the India-UK Sustainable Finance Working Group anchored by FICCI and City of London, and together with the members of our working group, we hope to deliver practical actions in the coming 12 months to accelerate investment into India and deliver progress ahead of COP26.”
Mr Rashesh Shah, Chairman, Edelweiss Group, and Past President, FICCI said that Indian financial markets are getting integrated globally. Long term availability of credit capital is a big opportunity and challenge for India. We need long term holding capacities. UK can play an important role through innovative financing mechanisms for infrastructure in India, he added.
India is a large economy, almost USD 3 trillion, but we are also a small economy because the per capita GDP is still under USD 2000. It is large and small from an opportunity point of view at the same time. Larger opportunities are in India’s own savings and lot of global savings also waiting to come to India.
Mr Sujoy Bose, CEO, NIIF said presenting the channels of capital to UK investors and presenting the opportunities to government and opening up of the bond markets would be the areas to focus on in the UK-India finance relationship. He alluded to the potential of pension funds to invest in infrastructure as a way for finance to find the right asset class in India.
Dr Sangita Reddy, President, FICCI said that both United Kingdom and India have been partners for long. And while the recent times have indeed been trying and unprecedented on many fronts – health, economic, social; on the positive side the current crisis has also given us an opportunity to widen the scope of our partnership and further strengthen it. “India remains open to a plethora of opportunities and going ahead we look forward to further deepening ties between the two countries on a strong investment partnership, and we are excited that the UK India joint EFD has included India UK Sustainable Finance Working Group anchored by FICCI and the City of London, which will pave the way for innovative financial instruments in sustainable infrastructure,” she added.
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