In a diplomatic chess game where negotiations on the UK-India Free Trade Agreement have hit some stumbling blocks, London’s Lord Mayor, Michael Mainelli, in an interview with CNBC-TV18, talks about the game-changing initiative that could tilt the balance in favor of robust economic partnerships.
The UK-India Infrastructure Bridge – a dynamic project with the potential to not just bridge gaps but create an entirely new avenue for international investments.
As the FTA discussions navigate through the intricacies of business, visas, and intellectual property, Mainelli’s visit to India takes on strategic significance. His mission: to inject a shot of adrenaline into bilateral ties and unveil the revolutionary infrastructure bridge that promises to be a catalyst for a new era of collaboration.
“The UK India Infrastructure Bridge is a project begun by my predecessor, Nicholas Lyons. And this project could really consist of six individual projects where we’re trying to inject a lot of expertise to move these projects up to the level where international investors are going to be even more interested than they already are in investing in India.”
The Lord Mayor explains, “This isn’t just about paperwork and negotiations. The UK India Infrastructure Bridge is a powerhouse of six projects strategically scattered across India, from energy ventures to cutting-edge transportation initiatives. It’s our way of saying, ‘Let’s not just talk about investments; let’s create an environment that screams opportunity.'”
Last week marked the ignition point, as the project took flight with its inaugural meeting in London, drawing in heavyweights from Niti Aayog. The bridge is designed not just to attract investments but to captivate global investors, particularly those in London, a city that controls a whopping 15% of the world’s assets with just 1% of its population.
Mainelli adds, “We’re not looking for a quick fix. This infrastructure bridge is a long-haul project – a permanent mechanism to channel trillions in foreign investments into India. We’re giving these projects a makeover, a glow-up, to make them irresistible to investors worldwide. Think of it as a high-stakes makeover for India’s infrastructure.”
The interview also delves into the “Connect to Prosper” initiative, a pet project for Mainelli, focusing on collaborations between UK universities and Indian institutions in the realm of research and development.
Amidst the whirlwind of ambitious projects, the Lord Mayor drops hints of collaborative solutions for the global space debris issue, showcasing London’s eagerness to join hands with India in solving real-world problems beyond borders.
As the conversation steers towards the ever-relevant topic of AI, Mainelli champions responsible development without stifling innovation. He unveils a course on ethical AI, beckoning international collaboration to ensure AI’s growth remains ethical, a topic that resonates in both London and India.
In an era where negotiations often feel like a slow dance, the UK-India Infrastructure Bridge emerges as a fast-paced tango, promising a harmonious partnership that could set the stage for a symphony of global investments and technological collaborations.
Watch the video for the full interview