Representatives from the North East’s business community welcomed and played host to the new Indian Consul General, Dr Aman Puri on a diplomatic visit to the North East on Monday 14 May 2018.
The aim of the trip was to forge strong business relations between the region and the new Consul General who was appointed in April 2017 and located in Birmingham. The Consul General, Dr. Aman Puri’s remit is to look after the Midlands, North West and North East Regions working on behalf of the Indian High Commission and the Prime Minister of India to forge trade links within the UK and internationally. The key part of this role is to highlight India’s trade policies and assist UK businesses with regulations when trading and networking with India.
Establishing a relationship with Dr Aman Puri and the Consulate Office will offer an important link for the North East, its business and educational communities and help to encourage and facilitate greater investment, trade and export between the North East and India.
Some of the businesses represented during the visit already have working relations with India and will be looking to develop these links in the future. Others are exploring developing business links, which will be assisted with the expert help and knowledge the Consul General’s office can support with and advise .
The timetable for the Consul General’s visit included visits to NE1 Ltd, the award winning business improvement District for Newcastle City Centre, which represents the business interests of 1,400 businesses in Newcastle city centre and to hear its plans for developing the city and maintaining its position as a major European regional capital city.
Adrian Waddell, Chief Executive of NE1 Ltd said:
“It is crucial for Newcastle and the wider North East region to explore international trading opportunities and to ensure that the city is ‘top of mind’ when companies and countries are considering investing. Visits like the Consul General’s help to expand the reach and horizons of businesses on both sides of the relationship and showcase the knowledge, expertise and opportunities that are available here in the North East. To learn first-hand about programmes such as ‘Axis India’ and how regional SMEs can access fast-track business support about doing business in India shows how keen the Indians are to do business with the UK. It’s part of our job to help form the connections that can make this happen. ”
Next on the itinerary was a visit to ZeroLight, the automotion visualisation specialists. The technology company uses its specialist knowledge of graphics, modelling, materials and physics to create hugely successful ultra-realistic 3D vehicle solutions.
The Consul General’s visit is very timely for ZeroLight as it is developing new links with India and will be travelling to India in the next few weeks to work with companies in the automotive industry.
Elaine Warburton OBE Chief Executive of QuantumMDx Group Ltd, a life science tools and diagnostic company, welcomed the Consul General to their headquarters in Newcastle and provided a tour of the laboratories to give an insight into the Group’s innovative products.
“We’re delighted Dr Puri is visiting our headquarters in Newcastle, to see our Research and Development teams in action. As we prepare for commercialisation, India is a very important market for us and we’re cultivating strong links with partners and key opinion leaders in clinical and manufacturing settings.
“We’ve also recently undertaken visits to a range of healthcare settings in India, to ensure our products meet market requirements and learn first-hand from the experiences and knowledge of healthcare professionals working there.”
Coordinating the visit and chaperoning Dr Puri was Mr Kami Kundi, a North East entrepreneur and member of the British Asian Chamber of Commerce, he said:
“We are privileged to welcome the new Consul General to the North East and are delighted to showcase all the city and the region has to offer. The trip offers a great opportunity to provide an insight into existing trading links between North East businesses and India as well as exploring the potential to develop new ones.”
This is the second visit organised for the Consul General to visit Newcastle, the first happened in 2010 when the last new appointment was made. The visit formed a bond between the Consul General’s office, situated in Birmingham and the North East. The bond has been helpful in developing links and offering support for the North East business community on dealing with issues on passports, visas and Indian regulations.
As well as visiting a number of prominent businesses in the city, the trip also allowed the Consul General to meet with eminent business people including Mr Meenu Malhotra, Malhotra Holdings PLC, Mr Arvan Handa, Cairn Group Hotels and the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Mrs Sue Winfield as well as visiting the Hindu temple and meeting its president. Lunch was hosted and sponsored by Ury’s Restaurant on Queen Street , Quayside.
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