Speaking on a trade mission to India, Theresa May said Loughborough-based Morningside Pharmaceuticals was an example of the “best of British”, which could contribute to UK PLC in the uncertain years to come.
Morningside chief executive Dr Nik Kotecha was among more than 30 captains of industry who joined the PM on the visit to Delhi, to drum up business and help negotiate a post-Brexit trade deal.
The trade mission – which started on Sunday and runs until today – is Theresa May’s first bilateral visit outside Europe since taking office.
It comes as one delegate, Cobra Beer boss Lord Karan Bilimoria, warned that free trade deals were “very, very” difficult things to achieve, even though he was sure India would want to strike one.
Movement of people as well as tariffs would be key, he said, but it was the “sad reality” that international students coming to the UK had already dropped significantly because of changes to immigration rules.
He added that as Home Secretary, Theresa May had delivered “very, very negative messages towards immigration” and more needed to be done to reassure foreign students about studying in Britain.
Around 20 per cent of Morningside Pharmaceuticals’ turnover – accounting for around £10 million – comes from providing overseas aid.
Closer to home, it supplies clients such as the NHS with medicines.Speaking from India, Mr Kotecha said he had been able to talk business with the PM a couple of times and she had been “charming and engaging” with the business people present.
He said Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox and other trade ministers were present, as well as former Labour trade minister and ex-Leicester West MP turned business consultant Patricia Hewitt.
He said: “She gave a keynote speech with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday morning, and the main message was Britain is open for business and she wants to build on the long-term relationship that the UK has with India.
“Given the UK’s long-term ties with India, there are great opportunities for Morningside to work in collaboration with Indian companies for research and development, manufacturing and licensing of new technologies both in India and the UK.”
Mrs May said: “I am showing off the best of British on my trade trip to India – and Morningside Pharmaceuticals is a great example of what the United Kingdom can offer the world as we leave the EU.
“Its work in supporting international relief efforts has clear and obvious resonance for Asian markets.
“And this pioneering trade trip will give them direct contacts with entrepreneurs in the continent’s second-largest economy.”
Morningside’s products are used by some of the biggest international relief charities and global agencies – including UNICEF, the World Health Organisation, Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières.
It is using the trip to showcase its expertise in delivering pharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostic tests to one of the world’s fastest-growing markets.
Mr Kotecha hopes to build relationships with manufacturing facilities in India and develop new technologies to create jobs and growth in the UK.
Uday Dholakia, chairman of the Oadby-based Indo British Trade Council, who did not join the trip, said: “The Prime Minister’s visit to India is good news.
“The aim was to show case British innovation and to reiterate British world-class manufacturing capabilities.”
To find out more, please go to the Morningside Pharmaceuticals website.