A Ministerial trade delegation has today set off for India’s capital from Birmingham Airport, aiming to strengthen the region’s historic bond and deliver economic prosperity.
Led by Ministerial Champion for the Midlands Engine, James Brokenshire MP, and West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, the delegation is looking to develop trade links with the world’s seventh largest economy.
Connectivity between India and the Midlands is already tremendously important enabling businesses to prosper, connecting communities and providing a gateway to the region for inbound tourists and overseas students attending university.
657,000 passengers having flown with Air India to multiple destinations in India since 2013. In that time, travel between Birmingham and Delhi has grown by an enormous 88% while travel to Amritsar has grown by a staggering 314%, driven by the unique relationship the Midlands has with one of the world’s most dynamic economies.
As part of the trip, the delegation will be calling for an increase to the frequency of these important flights and the launch of new services to other key cities in India.
Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street said: “The Delhi and Amritsar routes are key for both the Indian diaspora in the Midlands and for the business community.
"I am keen to grow these routes with the Airport and Air India, and explore connectivity between Birmingham and India’s other major hubs”
Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and Ministerial Champion for the Midlands Engine said: “The Midlands and Maharashtra are thriving tech hubs in their own right, and by bringing these two great regions together we are strengthening our technological and economic ties to the benefit of our people and businesses.
“Whether it’s manufacturing the latest car model or sharing ground-breaking research, there is a lot to be gained and I’m determined we make the most of the opportunities, particularly as prepare to leave the European Union.”
International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said: “Connectivity is a key driver of global commerce and increasing the frequency of flights between the Midlands and India is crucial to growing our wider trade relationship which is now worth close to £20bn.
“My international economic department will continue to work with partners like Birmingham Airport and the West Midlands Combined Authority to enhance commercial ties and promote trade around the world.”
Jo Lloyd, business development director at Birmingham Airport said: “The Midlands has a special relationship with India and we believe Birmingham Airport is uniquely placed to be a strategically important gateway into the UK from destinations across the Indian sub-continent.
"Strongly supported by our regional partners, we are developing the choice of flights available to passengers seeking to travel on business, for leisure and to visit family and friends.
“Birmingham Airport has seen enormous growth in the number of passengers flying to India and we anticipate that this growth will continue into the future.
“We welcome the Secretary of State and Mayor to the Airport today and look forward to helping them deliver more flights and economic prosperity for the people of our region.”
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