On Friday Derby welcomed India’s Deputy High Commissioner to the UK, His Excellency Mr Dinesh K. Patnaik.

Mr. Patnaik’s attended a civic reception hosted by the Mayor, Councillor John Whitby and attended by civic and business leaders in advance of Saturday’s opening game of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup between England and India, at the 3aaa County Ground.

The ambassador was formally welcomed by the Leader of the Council, Ranjit Banwait, Councillor Baggy Shanker, Cabinet Member for Finance and Governance who spoke of the enormous opportunities Derby has in offering its expertise on infrastructure and public services to India and of showcasing Derby as an investment and business destination for Indian entrepreneurs.

Mayor Whitby welcomed the civic, business and community leaders present at the Reception, and spoke of Derby as the ‘world’s first factory’ before the Deputy High Commissioner spoke about how the Indian government has been working to make it easier to start and run business in the country and the ‘importance of shifting supply chains of aerospace and automotive industry, of which Derby is a hub, to India.’ Mr. Patnaik also spoke of the contributions of Indian community in the UK and in Derby especially, emphasising the need to strengthen educational and cultural links in 2017, the India UK Year of Culture.

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After the welcomes there was an opportunity for Derby’s business leaders to meet and network with representatives from the Indian High Commission to further explore how they can make the most of the enormous opportunities presented by the world’s fastest growing major economy and an opportunity to showcase Derby as an investment and business destination for Indian entrepreneurs.

Councillor Baggy Shanker, Cabinet Member for Finance and Governance said:

“In an increasingly globalised world, Derby’s future economic prosperity will depend on the ability of local businesses of all sizes to look beyond national and regional boundaries to secure jobs and investment.

There is no shortage of ambition from SMEs in our city to get involved in growing foreign markets. Derby City Council will continue to do all we can to help local businesses fulfil those ambitions. The visit of the Deputy High Commissioner is an important step in that process.”

One of the invited guests, Professor Judith Lamie, Pro Vice-Chancellor for External Affairs, said:

“The University joined in welcoming India’s Deputy High Commissioner, reinforcing the University and city’s plans to develop strong and sustainable partnerships with India.

The University is keen to work with delegates from India; the country is one of the University’s priority countries in its International Strategy. We are committed to developing mutually beneficial collaborations and working closely with educational institutions and businesses in India.”


David Pearson, Director of Partnerships and Membership Services East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) said:

“India presents a huge opportunity for East Midlands businesses and Derby City Council should be applauded for their proactive approach to supporting local businesses to trade overseas. The Chamber are delighted to support them in these efforts.

His Excellency Mr Patnaik appeared to be impressed by the warmth of the reception given to him by the people of Derby and I feel that this is an important step in developing relations for the future.”