London: Economic synergy between India and the UK can achieve a lot, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday, as he visited one of the three factories of marquee brands Jaguar and Land Rover in Britain, now a part of the Tata group.
His remarks came as he was being taken around the company’s facility at Solihull in UK’s West Midlands, some 175 km north-east of London and not far from Birmingham that has a significant population of people of Indian origin.
“At the Jaguar Land Rover plant factory. Economic synergy between India and the UK can achieve a lot,” the prime minister tweeted, in what was his last official engagement during his three-day visit to the UK, before leaving for Antalya in Turkey for the G20 Summit.
During his several engagements in the UK, Modi not only described Jaguar Land Rover as the largest private employer in Britain, but also said it was also difficult to ascertain if these marquee brands were British or Indian.
It was an obvious reference to the acquisition of the two companies by India’s largest industrial house, the Tatas, in 2008 for $2.3 billion, and also managing to turn the ailing units around in five years. Jaguar and Land Rover were acquired as separate companies and then merged in 2013.
“It takes an Indian icon, Tata, to run a British icon and become your nation’s largest private sector employer,” Modi said, adding. “There are many things on which it is hard to tell anymore if they are British or Indian: The Jaguar or the Scotland Yard (building), for example.”
Ahead of the prime minister’s visit to the Jaguar Land Rover factory, India’s Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said it will send out the right message that “India is a job-maker and not a job-taker.”
As per the iconic auto company, it employs a team of 32,000 people globally, besides accounting more than 210,000 jobs in the UK through the supply chain, dealer network and the wider economy. It sells around 425,000 vehicles annually across 170 countries. “These figures make Jaguar Land Rover one of the largest exporters by value in the UK, with 80 percent of our vehicles produced in the UK being sold abroad.”