Wed 10 Feb 21
The untapped potential of fintech (financial technology) in helping deepen trade relations between the UK and India is to be investigated in a new project co-led by the University of Essex.
The three-year project brings together leading research institutions, government organisations and fintech firms from both countries to assess the role of fintech in expanding bilateral trade between the UK and India.
It is one of four projects supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) under their joint call for collaborative research on the future of UK-India trade and cross-border investment in a changing global environment, as stated in the India-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD).
Professor Thankom Arun, Director of the Centre for Accountability and Global Development (CAGD) at Essex Business School and leading the UK side of the project, said: “Fintech provides enormous opportunities for the development of financial markets and economic growth.
“This project aims to contribute to the ongoing India-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) by contributing to the development of the fintech sector and fintech-enabled services and trade between India and the UK. This project has enormous potential to deepening both countries’ bilateral partnership.”
The partnership will assess current regulatory, policy and investment practices and identify what changes could be made to increase the quantity and benefits of fintech trade between the two countries. It will also establish the factors specific to fintech start-ups that influence their ability and appetite to promote trade between the two countries and globally.
Professor Arun added: “The project follows a problem-driven and solution-focused approach through innovative integration of ideas from stakeholders to enhance the bilateral trade between the two countries.
“The aim is for companies in both countries to exchange knowledge which will enhance trade between India and the UK enormously, benefitting consumers, businesses and governments in both countries. Given the thriving state of the domestic fintech industries in both countries, but low levels of trade in fintech and fintech-enabled services, enhancing trade in this area is a promising avenue for strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries.”
A joint statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Finance Minister of India at the 10th India-UK EFD in October last year acknowledged the strong and growing India-UK economic relations, as two of the world’s top seven economies with a combined GDP of over $5trillion. India-UK trade has more than doubled since the first EFD in 2007, with bilateral investment supporting over half a million jobs across the two countries.
Professor Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General at the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), in New Delhi, and leader of the Indian side of the project said: “With growing heft in technological competence in fintech and fintech-enabled services, the study will yield useful policy insights on development partnership. Besides strengthening bilateral relations between India and UK, the accumulated knowledge can be scaled up to share the development experience with fellow developing countries in Africa and Pacific Island economies.”
The other key partners are: