Indian, British firms sign multi-million pound business deals

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By Srikanth Srinivasa | July 30, 2010 3:02 AM EST

A day after British defence group BAE Systems signed a 700 million pound agreement with India’s state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) for the production of 57 Hawk advanced jet trainers, visiting British Business Secretary Vince Cable on Thursday announced a series of multi-million pound deals signed between British and Indian firms.

Media reports from New Delhi said deals were signed spanning sectors like infrastructure, high-technology and defence during British premier David Cameron’s two-day official visit to India, who is also leading a 39-member business delegation to the country.

Cable said while Benoy architecture firm will develop infrastructure projects and PicoChip will provide technology for the 4G network, others like BAE and Griffons will collaborate and do business in the defense sectors.

Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of 100,000 JC Bamford excavators made in India, Cable was quoted as saying that India is a country where a company doesn’t need to be a multinational to succeed. He said a number of UK companies were operating in partnership with Indian firms and that he would encourage more UK firms to explore opportunities in India.

Giving a break-up of the investments made by UK firms in India, Cable said London-based Benoy architecture firm had bagged three projects in Bangalore and Mumbai. The company will develop retail centre on the Bangalore airport expressway and a residential complex in Bangalore, while it will develop commercial site in Mumbai.

Information Technology company PicoChip will provide its wireless baseband tech for developing 4G base stations in India. PicoChip will work with its Indian partner Rancore Technologies Ltd under a mult-million pound deal.

Another UK firm Griffon Hoverwork, makers of hovercraft, has won a 34 million pound contract to sell hovercraft to the Indian coastguard.

This is in addition to British outsourcing group Xchanging’s agreement signed with the Karnataka government to build a 2,000-seat processing centre in a special economic zone.

Road Transport and Highways Minister of the India government Kamal Nath, who was present on the occasion, recalled former British premier John Major’s visit to India in 1993. He was quoted as saying that India and British had realized the economic potential after 17 years after forging an economic partnership in 1993.

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