British firms show interest in region

The British deputy high commissioner to eastern India, Sanjay Wadvani, in Guwahati on Tuesday. Picture by Eastern Projections

Guwahati, Dec. 8 : Top officials of nine British companies today demonstrated their interest in the region by showing how their business expertise can be utilised for economic development through tailor-made presentations.
British deputy high commissioner to eastern India Sanjay Wadvani today said the UK was keen on advancing business ties with the Northeast and wants it to be part of an enhanced partnership as there were good business opportunities. The outreach event was organised by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), the commercial wing of the British government.
“I have been struck by the good business opportunities, especially in sectors like infrastructure, education and training, oil and gas in the region, which will help the companies realise the growth and business potential,” Wadvani said.
The group included companies like Mace Consulting, Jones Lang LaSalle, Queen’s University Belfast, Arup, Eaga Energy India and others. This is the largest ever delegation of UK companies at a meeting in the Northeast.
While Arup has shown interest in healthcare in the region, Eaga Energy India has been working in Nagaland in the energy efficiency sector and is interested in solar systems and carrying out energy accounting.
Wadvani said some companies have already started their businesses in the region while others were seeing the potential and may come later. “It is a good start and one will have to wait at least a couple of years to find out the result.”
He said the UK was one of the world’s leading locations for foreign business and is ranked consistently as the top destination in Europe for attracting foreign investments.
Saugata Maitra, national head of infrastructure advisory practice of Jones Lang LaSalle, which provides infrastructure consulting services to public and private sector clients, said the company was providing consultancy services to the Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) for developing two sites in Guwahati. The RLDA is a statutory body under the ministry of railways for development of vacant railway land for commercial use.
Pearson Learning Solutions, an international media company with businesses in education, business information and consumer publishing, has published textbooks for schools and state boards, including Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya boards of school education.
Trevor Newsom and Satish Kumar of Queen’s University Belfast are going to Nagaland tomorrow where they plan to meet Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio and senior education department officials.
The UKTI team, based at the British deputy high commission in Calcutta, will help companies by identifying UK manufacturers and suppliers for their import requirements and help connect with UK companies looking for partnerships. It will also enable technology transfer and joint ventures by facilitating interactions with visiting business delegations from the UK.