The first UK India Business Centre opened Thursday in Gurgaon to help British companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to enter the Indian market.
This is the first such centre to open in a major emerging market since Prime Minister David Cameron's announcement in November that Britain would go ahead with an initiative designed to transform the support given to the UK business overseas.
Lord Stephen Green, trade and investment minister, flew in with a delegation of 11 British trade associations to launch the centre, which is supported by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and the British Business Groups (BBGs).
"The centre will help UK small and medium sized businesses work closer with more established British businesses in India and provide them with the support needed to capitalise on the huge potential of the Indian market," said Green.
"The network of centres across India will also drive a step change in the number of UK companies doing business in India contributing to prosperity in both countries."
Patricia Hewitt, UK India Business Council chair, said the centre was the first of a planned network of six across India.
"It will be run by UKIBC in partnership with UKTI and the British Business Groups in India. Each Centre will provide meeting, training, networking and conference space alongside advice and other market entry services, with a particular emphasis on SMEs wanting to get into the Indian market for the first time."
The UK India Business Centre is located in Infinity Towers, Cyber City, Gurgaon and will act as the "hub" within the important North Central economic region in India. It will also have a "spoke" in Connaught Place, Central Delhi.
The trade delegates at Thursday's opening included senior representatives from the Aerospace Defence & Security Group (ADS), the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI), the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC), British Expertise, the Engineering Industries Association (EIA), the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the Institute of Directors (IOD), the Institute of Export (IoE), the International Visual Communications Association (IVCA), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupindar Singh Hooda participated in a lamp lighting ceremony which was attended by leading UK and Indian businessmen and policy makers.