Cricket World Cup highlights importance of India-UK sports alliance

The Department for International Trade (DIT) yesterday welcomes an India-UK sports delegation in London to showcase opportunities for British sporting exporters during the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

The event will bring together business leaders from high-profile sporting companies based in both countries, to showcase international trade opportunities.

With exports of British sporting equipment at an all-time high, rising by 10% to £500 million in 2018, new data from DIT shows exports of sporting goods to India increased by 30.6% in the same period.

Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox MP said: “The UK wants to be India’s partner in delivering world-class sporting events – using our experience and expertise gained from delivering some of the biggest global sports events in the world.

“There are significant benefits of hosting large sporting events to local economies. By showcasing the success of British business at the cricket world cup, the UK stands ready and able to help our Indian sporting partners realise their own success.”

India is already the UK’s 11th largest export market outside of the EU and accounts for £7.5 billion of existing investment in the UK. Bilateral trade is valued at more than £20.5 billion per year and estimates show that the Indian sports market can become a $10 billion industry by 2026.

This means there is exponential potential for growth in British sports exports to the region.

Premier League Interim Chief Executive, Richard Masters said: “The Premier League has worked extremely closely with the Indian Super League and other organisations for more than decade to support the growth of football in India.

“Earlier this year we brought the first Football Development Week to Mumbai, in conjunction with the ISL, the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) and Star Sports. This provided a great opportunity for our clubs to share their knowledge with coaches and young players from across India.

“We are supporters of the new UK – India Sports Alliance and look forward to developing existing relationships in India and identifying new ones.”

Representatives from Indian commercial giant, Reliance Industries believe there is great potential for British companies looking to export sporting goods to India.

Chief Executive Officer of Reliance Sports, Sundar Raman said: “Reliance Sports has had strong connections with the UK since inception – particularly the partnership between the Indian Super League and the Premier League, which was renewed again earlier this year.

“I am delighted to be a part of the India-UK Sports Alliance organised by the UK’s Department for International Trade. It will help to broaden the scope of our relationships in the UK with both the wider sports sector and policymakers.

“This is an exciting time of exponential growth in India’s sports sector, and I am pleased that the UK government and businesses are engaging with us to strengthen bilateral trading relationships.”