It has an Indian diaspora numbering 30,000 and houses 300 Indian business enterprises. And now Nottingham city in England is wooing Indian business, especially from northern India, in an effort to build on its India links, says a top Nottingham City Council official.
“We have a lot of British Indian businesspersons from Punjab and Haryana in Nottingham. We want to strengthen the investment bridge between these Indian states, as well as Chandigarh and Delhi with Nottingham,” David Bishop, corporate director, development, Nottingham City Council, told IANS.
Bishop, who visited the two north Indian states and the Indian capital with a six-member team, said they want to build a “two-way investment bridge” between Nottingham and India, mainly northern India.
The six-member team includes some British Indian members. “The NRIs have money which they want to invest in India,” Bishop told IANS.
Enumerating the advantages of Nottingham for business and investment, Bishop said its central location makes it ideal as it is 90 minutes to any part of England by train and two hours by road.
Besides the easy connectivity, he said that Nottingham has flexible labour laws, the property prices are 50 percent cheaper than London to set up business, and houses in the city or countryside are available at 20 percent cheaper rates.
Bishop said that Indian investment was welcome in property development in Nottingham, which has a population of 1.3 million. He said there is plenty of opportunity to develop property in Nottingham, especially in the sphere of high quality office buildings.
He said that Nottingham University provides a talent pool of 60,000 students that businesspersons can utilise.
The city council is keen to push business in three areas, life sciences, clean technology and education and information technology.
Under life sciences, Bishop mentioned nanotechnology, health and beauty products and pharma. “Under clean technology is waste treatment, in which area the city council can offer its expertise.”
“We welcome Indian business to set up in these sectors and partner with existing business.. The locals will get jobs,” Bishop said.
“We’ll help the businesspersons find the staff they need, find graduates for them.”
The Nottingham City Council has also set up a jobs fund, under which it would pay half the pay for blue collar labour for one year. The scheme is for 20 percent of all applications.
He said his talks in Punjab and Haryana and Chandigarh, where the team met senior officials, were good and they got “very positive response”.
Nottingham University and Panjab University are also in a skills and education tie-up, and discussions are on in the field, Bishop told IANS.
Nottingham has spent one billion pounds to do up its infrastructure, improving roads, railway network, tram and digital network.
The UK, which was hit by recession, is coming out of the phase slowly. “We are a transforming city economy.. we are trying to come out of the recession,” said Bishop.
The proposal to come to India to open up investment and trade links was suggested by some prominent Indian diaspora members, he said.
Published in The Indian Sun (Indian Magazine in Australia)