Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt walks at Downing Street in London
The UK Chancellor and the Indian Finance Minister held the first face-to-face meeting since the Economic and Financial Dialogues (EFDs) in 2017, with an aim to deepen ties between the two nations, especially the insurance and pension sector, along with opening up of the London Listing for Indian companies. Reuters

Indian companies looking to invest in London get a new boost as the UK government unveiled a set of plans to list such companies on the London Stock Exchange.

UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman jointly announced the plans on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.

On September 11, the HM Treasury announced a series of shared economic and financial commitments with India. UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt welcomed India's decision to open up to the direct listing of Indian companies at the London Stock Exchange. The security agreements signed yesterday seek to boost cross-market investment in the insurance and pension sectors.

The Chancellor tweeted about his successful trip to Delhi on the way home.

Through these agreements, the two countries will share expertise in structuring and financing infrastructural projects.

India's decision to explore overseas listings, especially London listings is a fallout of easing Indian regulation to allow domestic companies to access global markets. India choosing London listing shows faith in the UK capital's strength and the country's potential in international capital raising, said the UK government.

Through the UK-India Pensions and Insurance Partnership the two countries want to grow bilateral investment in the sector and diversify risk including pension fund trade missions.

Along with these announcements, Jeremy Hunt also launched a UK-India Infrastructure Financing Bridge led by the City of London Corporation and Indian public policy think tank NITI Aayog. The new agreements were inked as part of the 12th UK-India Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD).

Indian companies opening up to London listing shows faith in the UK

Speaking about the matter, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt said: that India confirming its presence at the London Stock Exchange as an international destination for Indian companies is a big step forward for the UK.

Jeremy Hunt hailed India as "Asia's Silicon Valley" and termed the UK as "Europe's Silicon Valley", both of which need to work together.

According to the Chancellor's statement, the UK and India trade accounted for £36.6 billion in the last financial year which is a 34 per cent increase from the previous year. The UK-Indian financial services alone got a £82 million boost last year.

Economic and Financial Dialogues (EFDs) between the UK and India are helping both countries to deepen ties, the Chancellor added.

The Chancellor further elaborated on how the new agreements will boost the job market as UK-India investment supported more than half a million jobs in both countries. The UK goods and services alone accounted for £15 billion in revenue in 2022, revealed Hunt.

Yesterday's EFD was the first face-to-face meeting between the UK Chancellor and the Indian Finance Minister since 2017. UK-India trade doubled since the first EFD was held in 2007.

UK deepening partnership with India through capital investments

The UK has assured the World Bank of an additional £800 million ($1 billion) green financing investment in India. This is aimed at supporting India's climate transition by promoting clean energy investments that fulfil green growth targets. It will help meet India's COP26 commitments and accelerate international climate transition.

The two countries are trying to leverage institutional capital to invest in green businesses and climate adaptation in India. The UK wants to capitalise on India's first climate change fund, the Green Growth Equity Fund, which is backed by British International Investment.

This comes at a time when the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a £1.6 billion ($2 billion) funding for the Green Climate Fund for developed nations at the G20.

Recently the UK government launched the "Alive With Opportunity" campaign aimed to showcase the UK-India bond and promote cultural exchanges between the two nations. This is part of the UK's objective of doubling trade with India by 2030.

The UK Chair of India-UK Financial Partnership (IUKFP) and the Group Chief Executive Standard Chartered Bank, Bill Winters said he was delighted to head the UK delegation of business leaders. Winters highlighted the importance of the IUKFP platform for cooperation on financial matters and other professional services.

Winters spoke of deepening bilateral trade and investment to enhance green financial innovation and cross-border data flow. Winters called India and the UK "natural partners" who should harness their full potential.

The Policy Chairman of the City of London Corporation Chris Hayward underlined how they are leveraging their expertise in structuring and phasing projects to support India's infrastructure needs. Hayward thinks the UK-India Infrastructure Financing Bridge (UKIIFB) will pave the way for long-term sustainable investment in India.