The UK's trade and investment body is bringing a food and drink delegation to India this week for exploring exporting opportunities in the Indian market. UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) India, in partnership with UK India Business Council (UKIBC), has brought together 15 companies involved in speciality and innovative products from the north of England. They will visit Mumbai and Bengaluru from today until Friday. UKTI Food and Drink Specialist and International Trade Adviser Chris Jewitt said "India is a growing market for UK businesses.
Increasing globalisation, a large growing middle class and the growth of organised retail, have made the Indian market more accessible and attractive". "While Indian consumers have shown a huge hunger for UK produce. This delegation is designed to showcase and increase awareness of specialities from a particular region of the UK and to give participating businesses the best possible opportunity to secure contracts and develop partnerships in India". The majority of the companies are visiting as part of the UK government's Northern Powerhouse initiative. The project was launched by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, in 2014 with an aim to harness the economic power and energy of the region. The region encompasses major cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle with a strong food and drink heritage and manufacturing base, as well as some of the most famous and dynamic brands in the world, from sports clubs like Manchester United and Liverpool FC to MediaCity at Salford. InMumbaithe delegation will attend Images Food and Grocery ForumIndia's (FGFI) conference and exhibition. At the conference the UK companies will meet Indian counterparts from the food and drink sector and explore avenues for collaborations and export. They will also visit major Indian stores such asGodrej Nature's Basketand local convenience stores and liquor outlets. The delegation will then visit Bengaluru where the focus will be on ecommerce opportunities. They will visit the Bigbasket warehouse, India's leading online food and grocery company, andAmrut Distilleries. The delegation will also interact with representatives fromAmazon and Flipkart. The value of exports from the North East of England alone to India last year(Q4 2014 - Q3 2015) was 48.7 million pounds. The visit will enable both UK and Indian companies to understand and discuss future partnerships and tap into India's booming e-commerce industry, UKTI said.