Mumbai: Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of $100-billion Tata Group, today called for deeper partnership between India and UK, saying it would serve both the countries, apart from tapping the potential of Asia and Africa.
"If India and England could be partners, both can not only serve the large Indian market but also cater to the third-party markets together.....like Asia and Africa," Tata said while addressing a luncheon session visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron had with India Inc at Taj Hotel.
Tata Group patriarch also said his companies' experience in England has been very positive.
After the buyout of one of the largest British steel companies Corus and the iconic car brands Jaguar and Land Rover, Tata Group is now the largest manufacturer in England.
"It has been a very pleasant experience in Britain; the value and the manner in which the government supports us," Tata said lauding the business environment in UK.
He also said that the group had made the ambitious investments in steel and auto sector in Britain, without factoring in the financial meltdown. "We had no idea that there will be a financial meltdown
in Europe, hence our rather ambitious investments," Tata said, adding while Jaguar and Land Rover is a great success story, the steel industry is facing problem due to the demand slowdown in the Euro region.
Tata also said that there should be more collaboration with England in the technology space as prospects of technology development there is enormous.
Addressing the conference, industry body CII President Adi Godrej said there are various opportunities in
infrastructure and manufacturing space for British companies to invest in this country. He further said business communities from both the countries are expecting the upcoming Budget to address their economic concerns.
Standard Chartered Bank Group Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer for Asia Jaspal Bindra called for resolving the regulatory uncertainties and concerns about retrospective taxes at the earliest.
Appreciating recent reforms and confidence-building measures initiated by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Bindra said these addressed some of the concerns of the business community.
Referring to economic challenges facing the country, HSBC Bank Country Head Naina Lal Kidwai said the domestic economy has to sort out taxation issues especially those related to retrospective taxation.
She said new legislations like companies and insurance bills should be approved at the earliest and called for the introduction of the Goods and Services tax, saying it could give a major boost to the economy.