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British PM Theresa May Launches ₹350 Crores Startup Fund for India


Theresa May, the Prime Minister of United Kingdom, announced the creation of a new ₹350 crores (£40 million) Fasttrack Startup Fund focused on India’s emerging technology enterprises as a part of UK-India Tech Partnership. The announcement came as the Prime Minister marked her presence at the “India Day” event.

She described India and the UK as twin pillars of the Commonwealth built on shared values of democracy and the rule of law. Theresa called on the Government of India to raise its proposed international sovereign bond later this year in the financial hub of London.

“We have opened a GBP (pound) 40 million Fast-Track Start-Up Fund, supported by both the UK and Indian governments, to invest in Indian start-ups focussed on emerging technology,” May said in a keynote address. When the Indian government raises its first-ever international sovereign bond later this year, I hope they do so in the City of London – whose capital markets, with their unrivaled depth and liquidity, are the best in the world,” she said.

Theresa May is a caretaker PM who will be replaced by a new leader; possibly either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt after the scheduled elections next week. The outgoing leader sais she was immensely proud of the work done in collaboration with Indian PM Narendra Modi over the past three years to strengthen the official India-UK ties.

“Over the past three years, Indian companies have raised GBP 2 billion through green bonds listed on the London Stock Exchange. We are in the midst of an immensely productive period of economic relations between India and the UK. I am confident that the business links between our nations will continue to grow stronger and deeper, drawing us together and creating jobs and prosperity from Manipur to Manchester,” May said.

Co-hosted by the UK government’s Department for International Trade (DIT) and City of London Corporation, ‘India Day’ is conceived to be an avenue for exploring new opportunities to strengthen India-UK collaboration in the field of financial and professional services. The minister of railways and commerce and industry, Mr. Piyush Goyal represented India at the event.

“If we can work together with a focus on three thrust areas of inclusion, investment and innovation, India and the UK together will be a partnership very difficult to compete with,” Piyush Goyal said.

The event organized in the historic Mansion House in the heart of London’s financial district hosted a range of panel discussions around subjects like the future of insurance, technology, green infrastructure financing, and innovation. Liam Fox, the Secretary of State for International Trade addressed the event to promote London Stock Exchange as a port of call for international sovereign bonds.

Liam Fox said, “I was delighted to learn in the Budget that India is considering issuing sovereign bonds abroad… and I hope you will consider issuing on the London Stock Exchange. There are over 400 sovereign bonds listed on the exchange, and we are able to offer a low cost, efficient listing process, with access to one of the deepest financial markets in the world. The London Stock Exchange is already the world’s largest rupee-denominated Masala bond center… It sells more than half of all the rupee-denominated bonds issued to overseas buyers globally.”

According to official DIT data, India-UK bilateral trade is valued at more than £20.5 billion per year and grew at 14 percent last year.

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