2014 INDIA TRADE MISSION

05.23 GMT – Sunday 23 March 2014
I wish to express our gratitude for your excellent support and guidance during the recent Orissa PCPIR conference. With NEPIC’s initiative, this conference has been a great success and this event did offer us a good platform to express our thoughts and ideas to the Indian industry and also enabled us to network with key industry players and stakeholders in mega-projects such as PCPIR. Thanking you. Sanjay Shah, Petroleum, Chemicals & Energy

09.29 GMT – Tuesday 11 March 2014
I had a truly exhilarating experience taking part in the one week’s stay in Mumbai/Bangalore with Nepic. The whole week was organised and structured in an excellent and professional manner and I hereby thank you and your colleagues John Brady and Phil Hollowood for leading the delegation. Personally I think that the high profile conference and the several networking events are the way to connect with top executives of leading companies in India. Just to name a few companies, our delegation met with board members and owners of world leading companies like TATA and Reliance. In addition the involvement of key politicians and UKTI together with the High Commission in Mumbai helped position NEPIC and the North East of England as the geographic region to do business with especially in the cluster of Chemicals, Petrochemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology, traditional Energy and Renewable Energy. I witnessed that NEPIC is extremely well connected in India and would be able to help facilitate inward investment. In Bangalore we met with the Chief Secretary of the State and several businesses which proofed very informative explaining the challenges and opportunities for Western companies. The visit to Astra Zeneca’s new site in Bangalore made us understand the ways of doing business in India from a practical perspective. I made a few contacts with Indian companies that wish to invest into the right kind of companies in the UK and I feel there is the need to specific match making which will benefit the Indian and the UK economy. Therefore I will forward the contacts to David Coppock, asking him to channel them in the right direction. As it was my first trip to India I did not quite know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised about the warm and welcoming reception we got everywhere we went. I put that down to the friendly culture of the Indian people and the already established recognition of NEPIC in the market place. Let me take this opportunity to thank you again for all your efforts. Maria Dotsch, International Trade Adviser, UK Trade & Investment

08.05 GMT – Tuesday 11 March 2014
On the last leg now, clearly down to the bare minimum of clean laundry. Even so it was a bit of a surprise to see Andrew Home dress in his formal black tie shirt etc. He must have had the odd accident that we were unaware of. From phil hollowood. Phil Hollowood, NEPIC

08.45 GMT – Monday 10 March 2014
NEPIC's old friend and supporter DP Misra opened a major conference about the development of a major chemical park here. I am guest of honour and our attending members KHome, Jacobs and Agility Logistics are warmly applauded by the 120 local delegates. More new business opportunities are discussed. I am on the dias showered in flowers again. A little catapillar has just emerged greet us! Always a good sign with its promise of a butterfly. I hope the metaphor holds true for our trade mission members. Stan Higgins, NEPIC

17.00 GMT – Saturday 8 March 2014
Saturday 8th June was supposed to be a free day but as it turned out I went to heaven for the day instead!
Collected at 06:45 we were whisked away for a really very special day by our colleagues at Reliance. After a very comfortable flight we were soon at the world's biggest refinery built in Jamnagar. This high tech modern wonder of chemical engineering is just like going to heaven for an industry enthusiast like me. The scale and quality of the place was breathtaking and the engineering feats achieved in establishing this facility just amazing. The control room was much bigger and more modern than those we see at NASA. This is clearly the future of petrochemical processing and just for the day I had the pleasure of living in it. We had a great view of the seemingly never ending new jetties and the complex plants, particularly from one of the tallest pieces of kit, although the latter seemed a bit too high for some in our party! The company has taken a barren piece of land and not only created a magical industrial masterpiece but a beautiful new town and a mango and teak-wood forest where no trees existed in the past. 5000 people live and work there now and it is hard to believe this whole project is less than 10 years old. There are six newly planted mango trees in honour of our visit. All I can say is a big thank you to everyone at Reliance that made this happen for me and my colleagues. Stan Higgins, NEPIC

A-Z of the NEPIC / UKTI Trade Visit to India 2014

Agility Logistics Mission members Neil, Riccardo and Kevin
Bhubaneswar Chemical Park Conference
Children Challenging Industry (CCI) Presentations go down well
D P Misra Indian Chemical Industry Leader
Even more business captured by NEPIC member HGF!
Flowers, flowers and even more flowers, given as a welcome gift
Garlands made from even more flowers
Hollowood’s cunning mission plans all worked
Indigo Airline a fantastic quality service
Joy Parvin of CCI, a deadly shopper
Karnataka Government House what a picture
Love or is it something else at the Sun Temple?
Mumbai’s fabulous new international airport terminal
Noise from the 2 Indian Weddings at our hotel in Bhubaneswar
Overall result – this is our best trade mission ever!
Paradip Chemical Park the next huge development in India
Quality ‘par excellence’ of all the events, plants and labs we have visited.
Reliance Jamnagar Refinery, which is out of this world
Sapper - Pune home of the Bombay Sappers Regiment and nick name of TTE’s John Taylor
TATA Innovation Centres that we visited
UKTI support of our trade visit
Very good networking evening with our colleagues from PlastIndia Foundation
W - Iain Wright MP and Shadow Minister for Industry added prestige to our visit
XXx to Nidhi and Sonam for their excellent work on our behalf
Y- Why did more engineering companies not come with us?
Zzzzzzzzz - not enough Zds due to travelling and working 08:00 - 23:00hrs for the past 12 days

Article by Stan Higgins featured in Chemical News March 2014

18.30 GMT – Friday 7 March 2014
PlastIndia Foundation represents 10,000 polymer companies across India. They held a special dinner attended by 60 of their members with the whole nepic delegation. During the course of the event Iain Wright MP and Stan Higgins are honoured for their encouragement of india-UK business partnerships. NEPIC's work with india via its EU Funded project WIINTECH is singled out by the hosts as an example of best practice in encouraging inter cluster relationships. As a result Plastindia colleagues confirm that the intend to come to. Newcastle to attend NEPICs Bioresources conference in June to follow up business ideas. Several NEPIC Delegation members report some new business opportunities as the week comes to an end they all remain gob smacked by the experience they have had with NEPIC in India and will return home tomorrow. Stan Higgins, NEPIC

10.11 GMT – Friday 7 March 2014
My first visit to India. There is no doubt that significant opportunities exist for all types of businesses in the North East of England. SMEs can take comfort from the ease of market entry compared to other geographical markets. Combine this with support available from NEPIC and UKTI can turn a vision into reality. I look forward to returning to India very soon to continue relationships with a realistic view to export. John Taylor, TTE International Ltd

04.19 GMT – Friday 7 March 2014

My first visit to India was in 2013. Although nothing concrete came from that visit I could see the enormous potential for development and the openness to do business. With what I learnt then, this time I was able to come with a plan and pre arranged specific meetings with my Indian partner agent. As a result of this I have had very positive promises of cooperation from the people I have visited and a desire to develop good business relationships. During the conference I have also been introduced to a number of new contacts that I will hopefully be able to expand on in the future. The message is clear; there is business to be won in India. It is not a quick fix but if you invest your time it will unfold and pay dividends. Bernie Johnson, Johnson Partners

06.59 GMT – Thursday 6 March 2014
Group regroup in Mumbai all excited by business opportunities identified in Pune and Bangalore.  Reception for Iain Wright MP turns out to be the icing on the cake with a company wooed by NEPIC for several years agreeing now to discussions on new raw material opportunities. Urgently arranged meetings for Saturday excites the delegation as our first free day in twelve goes out of the window and is replaced with a trip across India to see the operational facilities of one of the world’s top chemical companies and their world’s biggest refinery, who just might invest in the region, should promised new energy sources come on line. Bet those engineering companies who decided not to come with us wish they were here now! Stan Higgins, NEPIC

05.19 GMT – Thursday 6 March 2014
HGF who have been travelling to India with NEPIC for over 4 years have picked up yet more new business....it’s too early for monsoon season, but it could be raining rupees!!!!! Jonathan Atkinson, HGF

Indian Press Coverage - Wednesday 5 March 2014
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11.37 GMT – Wednesday 5 March 2014
Lance Corporal Hollowood un-ceremonially demoted to Sapper for failing to decipher encoded map coordinates for TATA Chemicals Innovation Centre. Situation rescued by TATA executives rendezvousing at Westin Hotel later that evening.  Excellent meetings were had with all Innovation Centres, TCS, TATA Motors and Chemicals. The research facilities would stand up against any in Western Europe and the computer modelling techniques are highly advanced being used by house hold named customers in Western Europe and USA. PS. In case you didn't know, Pune is the home of Bombay Sappers Regiment. Phil Hollowood, NEPIC

15.22 GMT – Tuesday 4 March 2014
Early start with a short drive to the stunning Government House of Karnataka and a warm Indian welcome, including flowers and garlands from the Government officials, local industrialists, Chief Secretary and Commissioner & other dignitaries. I informed the meeting that I was really impressed with the development of the Karnataka region, its active industrial policy and emphasis on aerospace technology, bioresources, digital technology and the process sector. This chimes very well with the strengths and ambitions of our region. 

I invited the president of drug & pharmaceutical association, the digital sector and process sector to Westminster and to the North East as they build on their relationship with NEPIC. There are clear opportunities for a deep and long term partnership between the two regions in a number of different sectors. I was delighted to see the passion for joint activity shown by NEPIC and our Karnataka colleagues, embodied in the signing of a bilateral co-operation agreement. The day was complimented by a visit to a new AstraZeneca plant in Bangalore, where our mission members were honoured to be invited to the plant trees in commemoration of our visit. Iain Wright, MP

03.05 GMT – Monday 3 March 2014
Monday evening in Bangalore. Excellent transport infrastructure - roads and city showing signs of huge investment as growth continues at over 5 percent per annum. Our delegation met with Mr Jatish Sheth - owner of Srushti Pharmaceuticals and President of the Karnataka Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Manufacturers Association. Discussions around trade regarding investment opportunities. Mr Sheth knew of our regions strengths and was keen to arrange a visit to the region later in the year to discuss potential collaborations in both Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology. We will see Mr Sheth again on Tuesday at our meeting with the Government of Karnataka. Stan Higgins, NEPIC

08.05 GMT – Monday 3 March 2014
Waiting for the flight to Bangalore - it was good to talk to Iain Wright about industry, innovation and clusters. We are meeting the pharmaceutical cluster organisation in Bangalore this evening. We had our UK Trade & Investment briefing on doing business in India this morning - with several mission members meeting up with companies identified locally as possible trade opportunities. NEPIC and Tees Valley Unlimited discussed issues around identifying potential investors with new Deputy High Commissioner Kumariyer. Stan Higgins, NEPIC

03.03 GMT – Monday 3 March 2014
The whole party from the North East are really keen to see trade increase between the UK and India, the Indian colleagues that we met at our arrival reception were friendly, supportive and keen to do the same. It was striking that the industry here faces most of the same issues facing the UK - energy pricing, innovation, skills and attracting new entrants - i.e. foreign direct investors. Iain Wright, MP

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2013 INDIA TRADE MISSION
15.57 GMT – Thursday 21 March 2013

Thank you for everything you all did to make the trip happen and to make it such a success. Up until now my travelling has all been in Western Europe and the USA and before the trip I was apprehensive of what would be ahead of me. I have to say that the organisation that went into this, and the inclusive attitude everybody on the trip had with each other was absolutely brilliant and put me at my ease very quickly. I enjoyed the company and camaraderie of all and felt that I have made some new friends. The insight into the Indian culture and the work they are putting in to improve their economy and quality of life was important to me and most interesting. Like everybody else, I was most impressed with the welcome and hospitality given to us everywhere we went and was very humbled by it. I thought Pradnesh did a wonderful job and he also made it clear to me that he would be happy to help me should I look to pursue things further in India - my thanks go to him. The opportunity to meet with so many influential people over there was something that I could not have achieved on my own and has opened my mind to the opportunities that are available. I am now setting off on the follow ups. I also had an opportunity to meet up with our Indian Partner Forwarding Agent and we were able to swap ideas and look at the ways we can use the visit to develop our business together. We are still a relatively new company (we are just going into our 10th year) and Paul and myself had decided that one of our objectives over the coming year was to raise the profile of the company. Well joining NEPIC, embracing it and going on this trip has most definitely contributed to this and I am getting very positive feedback. All round, for me, it was a very worthwhile trip.
Bernie Johnson, Johnson Partners

08.32 GMT – Wednesday 13 March 2013
As someone who has joined NEPIC delegations to India before I would say that this is the most successful yet. Phil Hollowood’s organisation and ability to herd delegates around India is only surpassed by your ability to herd Indian CEOs!! We really appreciated the opportunity to join the visit to VAPI and Dahej. It is clear that NEPIC creates opportunities to access the top people in these regions and to engage in much open and constructive discussion. I think the organisation of the ICC conference has improved substantially and I am sure that is in large part due to NEPIC’s influence. I think your encouragement of the ICC to take control of the event has reshaped it into a much more open and broad ranging dialogue that just a platform for individual companies to promote themselves and for the organisers to profit. I also thought that the presentation contributions from all the NEPIC delegates added a new dimension to the conference. As we have all experienced there is tremendous potential in India but still a very insular approach and I thought we all challenged this constructively. The CEO roundtable was a very good example of this. Lastly I would like to thank you and Ian Swales for your leadership of the delegation. I think you have done a great deal to demonstrate and promote the potential of the UK process industries, as well as create the right environment for UK companies to reach out to this market. It is unfortunate that only Ricardo from Agility could be with you at the beginning of the week as I did not have the time to travel with the delegation, I think I missed out on what seems to have been a great social, as well as business, event. It’s good that we all know each other better and have some common experiences. Neil Moon, Agility Logistics

06.41 GMT – Wednesday 13 March 2013
Speaking for myself, this was a very useful trip. Seeing Indian business at first hand was invaluable in terms of working in country and it gave me a real insight into an environment, which is otherwise subject to stereotype and misinformation. It was also very useful to meet up with Teesside University’s representative in Mumbai, who recruits students to courses in the UK and for him to see what other products the University can offer business. For certain myself, Simon and other colleagues will be venturing forth to develop the industrial and educational partnerships which have come out this visit. I have to say, also, that the fun and banter with a good crew would have stood comparison with several rugby tours I have enjoyed! Paul Shelton, Teesside University

16.17 GMT – Tuesday 12 March 2013
I am very grateful to Phil and Stan, and indeed the whole team at NEPIC, for organising this trade mission and for including me amongst the members of the delegation. It was well organised and a credit to all your efforts to arrange everything. From HGF’s perspective it was a great success, as indeed it appears to have been for the other members of the delegation. As a result of the conference alone, we have received several new enquiries - hopefully the first of many - and I am optimistic that this will enhance our brand and business further in India, in a way that would have taken much longer if we had been on our own. Indeed, I look forward to next year’s event! In the meantime, I should also say it was a pleasure exchanging banter with you both and all the other members of the delegation. Jonathan Atkinson, Harrison Goddard Foote

Press Release: Tuesday 12 March 2013
NEPIC led UKTI Market Visit to India declared a success by participants
Northeast businesses return to the region clutching many a business opportunity after a fruitful and worthwhile week in India. After a gruelling schedule including road and rail travel between Mumbai, Vapi and Dahej in Gujarat, India, the NEPIC led UKTI Trade Mission, members have returned home with many fond memories of their visit to both urban and rural regions of India – clutching all important business opportunities. As well as attending a thoroughly interesting two day conference held by NEPIC and the Indian Chemical Council (ICC), where top people from the Indian chemical industry and many from around the world a were in attendance. At every stop on route the Market Visit members were greeted with overwhelming warmth and hospitality, not least because they were accompanied by Local MP Ian Swales in his role as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the chemical industry. Read more>

09.06 GMT - Tuesday 12 March 2013
What a tremendous and well organised trade mission. My sincere thanks to NEPIC, UKTI and Ian Swales MP for making this a great success. From a Chemoxy perspective this was a really fruitful with two significant tangible projects identified which if successful will deliver >£2M of revenues. There are also numerous additional benefits of the visit which include: a) Superb networking opportunities, I collected over 30 business cards; b) Visits to 8 chemical plants in some of the most important chemical production regions of India, which provided a real insight to how far India chemical production has come; c) Identification of potential partner companies both as agents/distributors and toll manufacturers;
d) The NEPIC show casing of the UK and North East at the Indian Chemical Council conference greatly assisted introductions and networking; e) Having an MP and head of chemicals cross party committee with us provided additional gravitas and was a door opener to CEO’s and other big hitters in the Indian Chemical Industry.The trip far exceeded my expectations and we achieved much more as part of this delegation than we would have done as lone travellers. The relationship NEPIC has built with the Indian Chemical Industry is outstanding, which was exemplified by the overwhelming welcome we received everywhere we went. The camaraderie and banter was superb and I really enjoyed the company of the delegation and like you I have to concede that Phil Hollowood did a magnificent job. Thanks Phil! Ian Stark, Chemoxy International

12.00 GMT - Sunday 10 March 2013
Everybody on the mission has returned home except Andrew Home of K Home International who has flown on to Saudi for more business discussions, that’s what I call stamina! We were all feeling the pace by the time we tucked into 'full English' at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, while waiting for the flight to Newcastle. Some, like me, had managed to sleep on the plane but others only sparingly. I was asleep immediately after the flight took off, almost right through until landing. We caught the plane to London at 3am Saturday and we had been on the go since 7:30am Friday with meetings with our friend Rajiv Banga CEO for the Special Economic Zone, known as Mangalore SEZ. Later that day between 4pm & 5pm, I was the last one to speak at the conference doing a double act with my pal "DP" Misra. We spent an hour on our feet asking a series of questions about Clustering to the seven EU Clusters that had joined in our trip to India. The discussion went down well with the audience, as it demonstrated the wide variety of Cluster models that are working across the EU. All our EU colleagues were in admiration of the work NEPIC has done in India, it was their first visit. We are heading off on trade missions to Brazil and USA with them before the end of 2013. NEPIC is also going on a scoping mission to China with one of them soon. Does anyone from the NE of England want to come along on any of these business trips? As you can read in our BLOG of the mission, with the help of UKTI and partner organisations, we have access to companies that is often not available to those visiting on their own. PS. We have been compiling an A-Z of the Mission for a bit of fun. I hope you like it. Stan Higgins, NEPIC

A-Z of the UKTI – NEPIC Trade Mission to India March 2013
A – Amazing hospitality from all or our Mission hosts in India
B – Remembering to supply stories for the Mission Blog www.nepic.co.uk/blog/
C – First recorded case of Constipation in India from one mission member
D – Dahej Special Economic Zone the sheer scale of the investment
E – Evening reception for the ICC and NEPIC at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel for guest of Honour Redcar MP Ian Swells!
F – Our friends in ICC, Vapi, Dahej, Plastindia, Hanjer
G – Gujarat the home State of Mahatma Ghandi hence you need a special liquor licence!
H – Stain Higgnis CEO of NEPIC courtesy to Microsoft spell checker
I – India and the sheer endeavour of her industrialists
J – Jonathon Atkinson and his “Patent” leather presentation to the ICC conference.
K – Dr Klein from Germany for a surreal moment when he was given his speaker’s memento at the ICC conference to the tune of 633 squadron. Only the Brits present spotted the fun in this one, our Indian hosts would be mortified if they knew!
L – Lords Hotel in Dahej and the roof top reception under the neon hotel signs
M – Market Visits with experienced people give participants a clear advantage
N – New business opportunities identified by several Mission participants
O – Opportunities for trade, investment and IP collaboration amongst the new business identified
P – Pradnesh Desai UKTI’s specialist based at the UK High Commission in Mumbai
R – Mr Rao and his team from Karnataka presenting on the opportunities for business in his region and the clear possibilities with NEPIC
S – Ian Swales MP Chair of the all-party chemical group in parliament and his personal contribution to the mission. A fitting tribute to Mr Swells!
T – Train journey from Dahej to Mumbai, on time, air conditioned, clean, comfortable & 300 miles for £6! Lesson for East Coast Main Line in the UK
U – UKTI and their financial and wider support of this Trade Mission
V – Vapi Industry Association, their Centre of Excellence and tours around their fantastic plants. A real eye opener for some first time visitors on the mission.
W – Wiintech Cluster Collaboration contribution to the week in India and the ICC Conference
X – X-ray for Hollowood when exhaustion kicks in from the shock of a week’s actual hands-on work
Y – Yogesh Kothari ICC President for cutting off John Brady by insisting he reduces a presentation on 10 years work to just 15 minutes, just before john was due to take the stage. Well done Yoghesh
Z – Zaveri (Satish & Parag) for their help with the logistics of our visit, their excellent manufacturing facilities in Vapi and Dahej, the terrific reception all mission members received at their home and their continued friendship.
Stan Higgins, NEPIC

10.26 GMT – Friday 08 March 2012
Jonathon Atkinson of Harrison Goddard Foote (HGF) has won new business and presented to the NEPIC-ICC Indian chemical industry on the subject of intellectual property management as part of the growth enablers discussion. His talk showed how there is a growing belief in the value of innovation and IP in India. Whilst there are some good partnership opportunities in India, Indian companies are now also realising the benefit of globalization and are expanding their reach overseas. Many of the companies HGF has spoken with have expressed a deep interest in IP management overseas and the benefits of in Europe and the Americas. The benefits of obtaining the freedom to operate in India and the rest of the world are recognised as a major business objective. A number of conference participants questioned Jonathon on this and there was particular interest in the recent Glenmark success in the UK, in securing the ability to sell their product there. HGF was successful in challenging GSKs patent for an important anti-malaria drug giving Glenmark access to a 20 million euro market in the UK alone. Stan Higgins, NEPIC

09.47 GMT – Friday 08 March 2013
What a fantastic trip and conference organised by NEPIC. The arrangements have run very smoothly and the quality, seniority and number of attendees that NEPIC has attracted are of great credit to them. I have calculated that it would have taken me at least 4 years to meet the executives that have met in one week on this trip. This NEPIC -UKTI supported activity reflects so well on the UK chemical industry. I am pleased to have had the opportunity to be part of this excellent trade mission. Jonathan Atkinson, Harrison Goddard Foote

08.07 GMT – Friday 08 March 2013
The end of a great business week is now in sight. The final session of the NEPIC-ICC conference is about to start and then I am facilitating an hour long debate on the cluster approach to development of the chemical industry, so I had better buck my ideas up! The penultimate session reviewed the main subsectors of the process industry, polymers, plastics specialty chemicals and pharmaceuticals. It was great to see Peter Nightingale, who is formally of Synprotech and now Acoris Research part of the Hikal Group.  Peter, who presented on the pharmaceutical global market, relocated to India with his family and are very settled. Many on the mission are now moving their bags into my room as we complete the conference at 5pm (11.30 GMT) and don't head for flights until later this evening. Many thanks to the members of the mission and UKTI - we have created new business for the Northeast of England. There are many business opportunities India and I know that NEPIC members have a real advantage due to the strong relationships we have created across this amazing country. Stan Higgins, NEPIC

04.32 GMT – Friday 08 March 2013
Our mission members are all reporting that they have identified new business opportunities in India! There has been a great response to those that have sponsored or taken a stand at the Indian Chemical Council Conference. One sponsor has reported that he has just identified yet another opportunity with someone he met only on the last morning of visits. Chemoxy are also going to be very busy when Ian stark returns to the UK, and one innovative North East company has now been targeted by an Indian global major, as an innovation partner for potentially accessing their intellectual property. I am just about to listen to one of our members present on intellectual property management at the conference. He has also won new business this week having helped an Indian company win a court ruling against a global major pharmaceutical company. His legal company has won multi million pound business since coming to India with NEPIC three years ago. There are many opportunities for those servicing the chemistry using Industry here in India. NEPIC had an early morning meeting with the government and industry representatives of the state of Karnataka. We have an MOU with them and hope to help them develop their innovation strategy and bring even more opportunity for trade and investment to be developed with North East England. Stan Higgins, NEPIC

13.08 GMT - Thursday 07 March 2013
The cliche that India is a land of contrasts applies no less to higher education than any other aspect of this colourful, loud, dusty and intriguing society. Teesside University's aims and objectives in taking part in the NEPIC delegation to Mumbai were sustainable against this cultural assault, but required some quick self-reflection and adjustment. Our experience has shown that valuable Relationships can be developed with Indian Higher Education Institutions, (and just like any other sector, this stage cannot be shortcut). Alongside the recognised world class leaders such as the IIT's, there are some real hidden gems, but there is no substitute for meeting in person to get a proper understanding before you make your choice of partner of preference! Attractive graphics on a web site like the stereotypical estate agents hyperbole, may not always give a reliable picture. Likewise, working with industry ranges from the less sophisticated to the world beating. Fortunately for this delegation, much of the Indian chemical industry belongs to the latter. They don't make money by shortcuts or poor safety records it seems. They do share the international shortage of high quality engineers, but through the holistic use of Special Economic Zones, they have identified solutions to this need through industry-funded and driven specialist engineering and management colleges. In education or industry, heading off to India with pre-determined solutions is a high risk strategy. The wise entrepreneur or academic will come here, look and listen (and even sniff) very carefully before promoting any business or teaching solution. Paul Shelton, Teesside University

11.15 GMT - Thursday 07 March 2013
Dahej Gujurat. What an eye opening experience was the consensus of the visiting delegation. There was so much enthusiasm and industrial development underway and planned. We met with companies large and small across a wide spectrum of the process sector, from Indian giants of Reliance and Opal to the small speciality companies as Fermenta Biotech and Chemiesynth Speciality Products. Each company in their way have built or are building world class facilities at Dahej. Indian businessman are enthusiastically embracing the changing business environment and looking to the future. The business opportunities for UK PLC and particularly Northeast companies are enormous from the developments in hand and planned. What is clear is that Indian enthusiasm extends to collaboration and partnership with international business. UK companies need to get on board quickly or miss the boat. You can only appreciate the large opportunities here in India by getting on that plane and seeing what is happening first hand. Other companies taken in by the delegation led by Redcar MP Ian Swales included Torrent Power who are building a large power station and Rallis part of the Tata Group who are manufacturing products for crop protection. Phil Hollowood, NEPIC India Specialist

09.47 GMT - Thursday 07 March 2013
The UKTI supported NEPIC preconference reception was attended by 20 top business people from the Indian chemical industry. These included Mr Indrajit Pal (Secretary of the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers for the Government of India), Kamal Nanavarty of Reliance, Siddhartha Roy of Tata, Mr. Shroff of United Phosphorus and Yogesh Kothari of Alkylamine and president of the Indian Chemical Council. Ian Swales MP welcomed the business leaders and addressed them saying "myself, my parliamentary colleagues and the UK government is very supportive of the chemical industry and we wish to increase trade and investment both to and from India. I represent my local community and we have the UKs biggest chemical site in our constituency. I am determined to take home the message that India is a great place to get involved in chemical business”. Ian stark of Chemoxy praised the work of NEPIC commenting "as an individual company it would have taken me years to meet so many important people for my business but here in India NEPICs work is so highly appreciated that they have unprecedented access to the very top people within the Indian industry. I have met many companies on this mission and have already entered into discussion that I am sure will lead to new business". Everyone thanked NEPIC for helping the ICC arrange their annual industry conference. I responded by thanking Mr Satish and Mr Jayaraman of PwC for their sponsorship of the conference. Stan Higgins, NEPIC

20.51 GMT - Wednesday 06 March 2012
After a very interesting day yesterday visiting world class plants including a $4 billion integrated petrochemical project, tonight we met senior executives from Indian companies including Tata Chemicals and Reliance. Having an MP in our delegation has really helped raise the profile of the visit. Andrew Home, K Home International

07:06 GMT - Wednesday 06 March 2013
Johnson Partners are Middlesbrough Freight Forwarders and as MD, I am more than aware of the economic growth in India and I have come here to explore the business opportunities that might be available to us. We have visited quite a few companies in Gujarat and I am taken aback by the sheer scale of the development taking place. The hospitality of everybody I have met has been overwhelming and humbling. I have no doubt there are opportunities for relationships and business, you just need to go and find them. I can see a great pride in India for the work they are doing to improve the life of their people and their place in the world. They still have a lot to do to improve the living standards of the people in the small towns and villages and it will take a long time but the important thing is that they are doing it and we can help by bring our expertise to their table. Travelling in India has been an experience in itself. The trains are busy but comfortable but the roads are crazy; there are rules but nobody follows them!! Bernie Johnson, Johnson Partners

18.39 GMT - Tuesday 05 March 2013
Today the Wiintech consortia met with Hanjer Biotechnologies at Andheri. After an introduction from the Wiintech partners, the consortium learned of Hanjer's business model in India, which is taking delivered waste (some of which is pre-segregated to remove metals) from the municipal authorities, further segregating it into wet, dry and plastic fractions and from which they manufacture compost, fertiliser, green energy and sand. The plastic component undergoes depolymerisation to a furnace grade oil. A very interesting business indeed. I have invited the MD of Hanjer Biotechnologies to visit the North East and also to speak at the 2014 Bioresources Conference. John Brady, NEPIC

18.18 GMT – Tuesday 05 March 2013
Parag Zaveri of Chemisynth, a prominent member of the Vapi Industry Association, chatted with me today stating that they have been very impressed by the access and openness that UK industrialists have with their MPs, such as Mr Ian Swales. He thanked NEPIC and UKTI for bringing British companies to their doorstep and how they have seized this opportunity to build relationships and business. Parag commented on the respect, trust and affinity already prevalent between NEPIC and the Vapi Industry Association members and of both groups now having a significant opportunity to create business together. The members of our mission to India have had their eyes opened to a world of opportunity. Doing business in Delhi and Mumbai does not give you any perspective on the huge capability and business opportunity for mutually beneficial trade. You have to visit locations like Vapi and Dahej to really appreciate this.
Stan Higgins, NEPIC

08:16 GMT – Tuesday 05 March 2013
After a hair raising, tuck tuck and cow dodging, ride from Mumbai to Vapi, one of the chemical centres in Gujarat state, the NEPIC team were greeted as VIPs by the Vapi chemical cluster. Ian Swales MP and Stan Higgins sat like in presidential style on a microphone filled stage in a massive auditorium full of the great and good of the Vapi industry association and behind them an enormous poster welcoming Ian Swales and NEPIC to Vapi. Their president said that he expected Ian to be accompanied by an arm guard like Indian politicians to which Ian retorted “who needs an arm guard when Stan Higgins is around”. Both Ian and Stan delivered enthusiastic speeches on why Indian companies should come to the North East. Then came the tour of chemical plants in the area. What an eye opener, those of us who expected to see outdated, plants with poor health & safety standards got a shock. The plants were modern, efficient and environmentally compliant. The house keeping standards were superb and the enthusiasm and passion of the plant workers was impressive. After an exhausting day, the NEPIC delegation was invited to the magnificent mango farm of Zaveri family, who are old friends of NEPIC and big hitters in the Indian chemical industry. Their hospitality was outstanding and with great foresight, the NEPIC team has obtained a liquor licence to enjoy a few well earned beers in an otherwise dry state. Ian Stark, Chemoxy International

01.51 GMT – Tuesday 05 March 2013
Brilliant day for the NEPIC trade mission to India. Vapi industry association are first class and so welcoming that they make a huge impression on the UK businesses present on the mission. The quality and expertise of the Chemisynth and Richter plants is appreciated by all the visitors. Ian Swales is swamped by Gujerati TV reporters for comments on the visit to which he tells them that he is impressed by the businesses he has seen, the warmth of the welcome and obvious relations that NEPIC has with the Vapi industry association. A tour of the Vapi centre of excellence, dinner and drinks at the Zaveri family farm amongst the mango and banana trees, tops off what has already been an interesting and productive day. Up at 6:30am after getting to bed at 1am. Out at 8am to get the train to Dahej. Hey-ho, where is that brufen and my clean socks! Stan Higgins, NEPIC

12.41 GMT – Monday 04 March 2013
The Wiintech consortia today met with a large number of representatives from the PlastIndia Foundation in Mumbai in the presence of the President Mr Bipin Shah. After a welcoming speech by the President, all of the Wiintech delegates were invited to gave an overview of their cluster and identify areas of interest of clean technology markets for potential collaborations with Indian partners. This was followed by group and individual discussions. The day was extremely well organised and planned and it is now a case of digesting all the information and exploiting the opportunities presented over the coming months. I am delighted to be in dialogue with Caroline from Lyon as my French is now improving dramatically for St James Park - unlike the good Doctor's vocabulary!! John Brady, NEPIC

06.39 GMT – Monday 04 March 2013
Excellent introduction to India from UKTI this morning. Indian companies invited already developing business ideas with mission members. Not bad for the first two hours of the trip! Mr Swales expressed thanks to deputy high commissioner, Peter Beckingham, for the warm welcome, comprehensive insights into doing business in India and early introductions to just the right sort of Indian companies for members of our delegation. Love the sights of rural India on the road to Vapi. Stan Higgins, NEPIC

11.42 GMT - Sunday 03 March 2013
The journey to India went as planned. A huge plane full of business people reflecting the vibrant Indian economy I am sure. Phil Hollowood, NEPICs India Specialist, herded our mission visitors into taxis at Mumbai airport for the exciting drive to the hotel by the gateway of India. The vivid colours and sounds are with us straight away! Ah at last the comparative calm of the hotel and the sincerity of the traditional Indian welcome was only bettered by a quick shower and a little kip after what seems like 24 hours travelling. On my way now to the famous "sea lounge" at the Taj hotel for a little tincture with my new mission mates before lights out. 7am start tomorrow, over to the high commission then on to see old friends in Vapi in Gujerat. TTFN. Stan Higgins, NEPIC

PRESS RELEASE - NEPIC lead UKTI Trade Mission to India
Friday 1st March 2013, Wilton, UK.

Hot on the heels of Prime Minister Cameron, the North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC) is leading a week long UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) supported mission to India. Accompanied by twenty businessmen from ten of the regions process sector companies, the group will be meeting organisations in the Dahej, Vapi and Mumbai regions to establish business links and promote the Northeast as a place for investment.

The trade mission is building upon Cluster to Cluster relationships developed by NEPIC, now viewed throughout Asia as a major European business cluster organisation, with the Industry Associations based in Vapi, the State of Gujarat and elsewhere in India. Relations with Indian counterparts have deepened such that NEPIC has worked in partnership with the Indian Chemical Council to organise the 6th Annual Indian Chemical Industry Outlook Conference in Mumbai.

Commencing on the 7th March, the two day conference will be attended by over 100 industry CEOs from India and around the world. The conference, which is focusing upon future challenges and opportunities for growth, features a special CEOs round table to discuss top level issues facing the industry going forward. Huge international companies such as Reliance, Tata, United Phosphorous, Dow, DuPont and BASF will be represented.

Ian Swales MP for Redcar, whose constituency is a significant location for the UK process industry, is joining the NEPIC trade mission. Ian is Chair of the all-party parliamentary group for the chemical industry. Before heading out to India Mr Swales said “I will be encouraging Indian companies to trade with UK companies, particularly those from Northeast England, as well as urging them to consider the UK as a place for their future investments. I am taking a message of support for the chemical sector from my Parliamentary and Government colleagues and will advise our Indian hosts that we can and will help them to establish businesses in the UK.”.

The northeast companies travelling with the mission cover a broad spectrum of business types, interested in developing business in chemical manufacture as well as engineering, logistics and other technical and legal support services. In addition, representatives from the universities of Teesside and Newcastle will be present to develop links to educational institutions, in order to develop international studentships, distance learning and collaborative research opportunities.

Dr Stan Higgins CEO of NEPIC commented on the trip and the clusters involvement in the regions international trade activities: “We are grateful to UKTI for the support we have received for this mission, both at home and in India. Through our involvement with UKTI, we are able to be part of the support mechanism for SMEs in our region, that enable then to begin exporting and seeking out new markets.

“In fact, we have been doing such work for several years. One of the SMEs travelling with cluster has already developed £3m of new business in India as a result of introductions NEPIC facilitated through its India partners. Our involvement with UKTI we are also using our experience as a sector organisation to help other sectors in the Northeast England organise their own market visits. I encourage all companies with export ideas to talk to their local UKTI international trade advisors, as they can link businesses to the many trade missions that are being planned. Going to a new market with an experienced sector group is the best way of getting started as many supportive relationships are already in place.”

Why India?
Globally the output of the chemical industry has grown substantially over the last 10 years and now amounts to £2.6tn. In this time European chemical manufacturing has also continued to grow - from £260bn to £530bn. The UK is still the 5th largest manufacturer of chemicals in Europe generating sales of £70bn.  However, Europe’s overall position in the world ranking has fallen, with its share of world production dropping from 36 per cent to 20 per cent.

The decline is ultimately due to the huge expansion in the manufacture and consumption of chemicals in the new and emerging economies, such as China, India and other BRIC countries. Such huge growth cannot be ignored and is why NEPIC is urging its members and UK manufacturers, as well as those in the supply chain of the process industries, to look to these huge new economies as an opportunity to expand their businesses and become exporters.

Attendees
Phil Hollowood, India Specialist & Market Visit Leader, NEPIC
Dr. Stan Higgins, CEO, NEPIC
John Brady, Senior Project Manager, NEPIC
Ian Swales MP, Chair of Parliamentary Chemicals Committee
Riccardo Tonelli, Global Strategic Projects Manager, Agility Logistics, Wilton
Neil Moon, Global Strategic Projects Director, Agility Logistics, Wilton
Ian Stark, CEO, Chemoxy, Middlesbrough
Dr Jonathan Atkinson, Partner, Harrison Goddard Foote, Leeds
Bernie Johnson, Managing Director, Johnson Partners, Middlesbrough
Andrew Home, CEO, K Home International, Thornaby
Dr Tom Porter, Commercial Director, Thomas Swan, Consett
Brain Dakers, International Trade Manager, NECC, Durham
Professor Simon Hodgson, Dean, Teesside University
Dr Paul Shelton, Assistant Dean, Teesside University
Professor Mike Green, Head of Chemistry, University of Newcastle