New Indian Diaspora Forum To Push For Policy Advocacy In UK
The Indian Professionals Forum is a think tank that aims to bring the voice of the community to the mainstream.
To help contribute towards India-UK relations, a new organization called The Indian Professionals Forum (IPF) for the Indian diaspora was launched in London on Nov. 22. The IPF is a non-profit think tank, which aims to bring the collective voice of Indian-origin professionals to the mainstream and identify opportunities for the community.
“The concept of this forum was prompted by the result of the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union (EU) last year and seeks to emphasize that, Brexit or no Brexit, the UK will continue to be a destination of choice for Indian professionals,” Dr Mohan Kaul, the president of the new forum, said at the launch event held at Chatham House in London, PTI reported.
The forum is open to academics, artists, scientists, engineers, business persons and entrepreneurs. Backed by the Indian High Commission in Britain, it will encourage its members to participate in high-level policy advocacy.
“A general forum of Indian professionals was a void that needed to be filled,” YK Sinha, the Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, was quoted as saying in the report. “There are a very large number of Indian professionals in diverse fields across the UK, making an invaluable contribution to the UK and also to India-UK relations.”
Sinha added that Indian professionals would define “contours of a winning partnership between India and the UK.” Their freer movement between the countries, he said, will be central to any mutually beneficial agreement in the future.
The launch event was attended by Liberal Democrat party leader Vince Cable and Chris Parsons, the Chair of UK India Business Council (UKIBC), India. While Cable hailed the economic reforms in India and emphasized on the need for a stronger relationship with India with Brexit looming ahead, Parsons said that the United Kingdom has more to gain from India than the other way round.
There are more than 800 Indian companies in Britain, which employ nearly 110,000 people, according to a study by accountants Grant Thornton for the Confederation of Indian Industry. The Brexit vote had left Indian companies facing questions on how they will operate within UK economy after its separation from the world’s largest trading bloc. India is the third largest source of foreign direct investment into the United Kingdom after the United States and France.