British Trade Office Likely to Come up in Thiruvananthapuram

The United Kingdom wants to build a strong commercial relationship with Kerala and is considering establishing the British trade office here, according to a source in the chief minister’s office.

“The city is still sore about losing the British Council Library. If The British trade office were to find its way into Kerala, it would certainly give an impetus not only to the commerce of the place but also open doors to universities in the UK. The British council will find it easier to work with organisations within Kerala as the trade office will be able to facilitate these projects,” said the source.

Mervin Alexander, CEO, Technopark, said setting up a trade office would take the ties between Technopark and the UK to a new level.

Mike Nithavrianakis, British deputy high commissioner, recently visited Technopark where several top-billed companies either cater for clients from the UK or have their headquarters there, and has realized the growth potential of a bilateral relationship first hand.

Mike understands the potential of IT sector in Kerala. He has visited Technopark several times before, besides spending hours interacting with company heads. He recently inaugurated a firm called Testhouse (specialising in software testing and QA service provider) at the IT park. Going by the IT industry average, 25 per cent of the Indian IT/ITES exports are to the UK. Technopark has over 10 companies transacting with the UK. Trade offices guide the GTECH (group of technology companies) delegation and obtain clearances for their visits to various countries. This is good news as prospective investors in both countries will benefit.

If everything goes according to plan, the office is likely to come up at the Taj Vivanta, Vazhuthacaud, with a two-member team and start operations in February next year. The British trade office in Hyderabad is also functioning at the Taj Deccan, the reason why it is cost-effective. Moreover, the security of the office is the responsibility of the hotel management. “There were discussions with the British high commission in Chennai, and we have offered them a quotation based on a daily room rental with a little discount based on long stay. Their requirement was for a two-room space. I suppose they are awaiting government clearance because the deal has not been confirmed yet,” said Murugan Rajan, General Manager, Taj Vivanta, Vazhuthacaud.

News Sourced from  “Times of India

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