A DELEGATION of top-level Indian businessmen and Government officials have arrived in the North-East for a mission which could lead to more jobs.
Representatives from the Indian Chemical Council (ICC), plus officials from the Indian Government Ministry, have begun their tour of the region which included an evening dinner on the historic ship HMS Trincomalee last night.
Cities Minister Greg Clark greeted them when they arrived in Newcastle before heading for the Tees Valley where they were joining representatives of the North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC).
Mission Leader Mr Yogesh Kothari, the Vice President of ICC and managing director Alkyl Amines Chemicals, said: “We are honoured to meet Mr Clark and thank the UK Government for its warm welcome.
“We have worked with NEPIC for several years in India and are pleased to be able to come and interact with our colleagues from the industry here. We hope that opportunities to do business together will arise as a result of our visit and we look forward to a long and lasting relationship.”
NEPIC chief executive Dr Stan Higgins said: “The support of our Government is crucial to the way that UK industry and manufacturing is perceived around the world.
“We need more Ministers, officials and industrialists to stand shoulder to shoulder to promote the UK’s capabilities, particularly when it comes to manufacturing and the process industries.
“Manufacturing is key to a balanced economy and we need to tell the world that the UK is eager to be the hi-tech, low carbon manufacturing location of the future.”
Harsharaj Karangle, director general of ICC who was the mission organiser in India, said: “The chemical industry provides so many societal benefits that we must work closely with Government to ensure we provide for the needs of all our stakeholders. It is reassuring to know that the UK Government is supportive of our industry. “
NEPIC represents companies which work in fields such as chemicals, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and bio-resources.
There are more than 1,400 companies in the region directly involved or in the supply chain of these industries, generating £26bn of annual sales. Together they employ 190,000 people and the sector exports £12bn each year.
The NEPIC/ICC Mission is a private sector initiative supported by organisations including PD Ports and Tees Valley Unlimited.