Emerging Economies Fellowships
As part of the wider IPT Fellowship offering, over the last few years we have organised two visits for a cross-party cohort of parliamentarians to explore British business operating in BRIC economies. The IPT is committed to offering further BRIC visits during this Parliament and welcome suggestions from parliamentarians of where they might like our next Emerging Economies Fellowship to be based.
Below you can read two summaries of our previous visits to China in 2008 and India in 2009.
India Fellowship (11-21 March 2009)
The Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) visited Mumbai and Chennai with a cross-party delegation of 10 parliamentarians in March 2009 as part of the IPT India Fellowship.
This continued the IPT's initiative to increase knowledge and understanding of emerging economies, which started with the hugely successful China Fellowship programme in May 2008.
The 10 days in India encompassed visits to businesses in Mumbai and Chennai to gain insight into both the challenges faced by UK Plc and the opportunities offered. Industry sectors covered included: film; pharmaceuticals; manufacturing; food and beverages; technology; transport; finance; legal; FMCG; energy; education; banking; and defence. In addition there was a chance to visit the oldest Stock Exchange in Asia - the Bombay Stock Exchange, as well as the internationally renouned Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai.
As part of the feedback from the India trip, some the parliamentarians who participated in the Fellowship produced a report of their visit, covering what was learnt and how to improve/increase commercial contact with India. If you would like to read the reports please click on the names below:
Other initiatives emanating from the visit included:
The Emerging Economy Fellowship programme was established as a result of a survey carried out in 2008 of 500 companies which were both IPT members and non-members from a variety of sectors, which highlighted emerging economies and energy resources as key areas for parliamentarians to focus on and, indeed, recent events have reinforced the relevance and importance of these issues.
- A reunion lunch with representatives from companies who participated in the Fellowship but are based in the UK on 23 June 2009 and other interested parties, such as the UKIBC and the Commonwealth Business Council. The aim of the lunch was to provide a forum for the parliamentarians to feed back to the companies on the issues that were raised;
- British Council lunch: The delegation met the Council both in Chennai and Mumbai and was impressed with the "soft diplomacy" used by the organisation to promote British interests;
- A Westminster Hall debate in the House of Commons;
- A QSD or Dinner Break debate in the House of Lords;
- Oral report to the cross-bench Peers.
China Fellowship (20-27 May 2008)
A cross-party delegation of 10 MPs visited Shanghai in May 2008 as part of the Industry Parliament Trust (IPT)'s China Fellowship programme.
The impetus for this unique Fellowship came from a survey of all IPT members and a selection of non-member companies from a variety of sectors which highlighted emerging economies and energy resources as key issues for MPs to be aware of. It is estimated that by 2020 three sevenths of world trade will be dictated by Asia and, by some calculations, China has now overtaken the US as the world’s top consumer of resources. It is therefore clear that it is crucial to increase the knowledge and understanding in Parliament of both the challenges and opportunities posed by China to UK plc.
Prior to visiting Shanghai, the MPs participated in briefings on China covering the economy; global implications of China’s economic decisions; understanding how to do business in China and how politics influences Chinese business.
The trip itself involved a visit to Suzhou Industrial Park, taking in a range of high-tech, modern Chinese businesses and allowing delegates to learn about the issues facing businesses in China. As a joint venture between China and Singapore, the industry park demonstrated the progress being made in China with foreign involvement and investment.
In Shanghai, the delegates met UK-based businesses operating in China, including Arup, BP, GKN, Marsh and PwC, and discussed the prospects for UK plc in areas including manufacturing, finance, energy and construction. Together with this they met with UK educational establishments that have made links in China including Dulwich College in Shanghai, the Sino-British College and the Nottingham University-Ningbo University partnership.
The delegation was: Graham Allen MP, David Amess MP, Jeremy Browne MP, Ben Chapman MP, Mark Hendrick MP, Adam Holloway MP, Peter Luff MP, Bill Olner MP, Mark Prisk MP and Derek Wyatt MP.
Mark Prisk MP, Shadow Minister for Small Business and Shadow Minister for Enterprise, Deregulation & Competition, said: “This trip has brought home both the opportunities and challenges which China – and Shanghai especially – represent to UK plc. Britain was one of the earliest countries to actively engage in China, so many British businesses are well established. Leaders like BP, PwC, Virgin Atlantic and GKN are well placed to be an important part of this remarkable story.
"However, there is much more to do. Whilst the UK is respected, some people felt that we aren’t always the quickest in this highly competitive market. Equally, with notable exceptions, our shortage of visible consumer brands means our profile is not always as strong as it should be. So much achieved - but so much more to do.”
Sally Muggeridge, former Chief Executive of the IPT, said: “This Fellowship was a fantastic educational opportunity for the group of MPs to gain a strong knowledge of issues surrounding China relevant to industry in the UK together with first-hand experience of business and growth in the country.
The China Fellowship was a natural extension of the IPT’s work over the past 30 years in encouraging parliamentarians to improve their knowledge and understanding of business and the issues that affect it. Many of the delegates have already completed an 18-day IPT Fellowship programme spending time within UK business.”