“I am delighted to welcome Harjinder to this role. He has been an integral part of our India trade deal negotiating team and I’m confident he will use that experience to build on our outstanding track record on trade in South Asia, expanding opportunities for British businesses in untapped markets,” said UK Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch on the appointment of Harjinder Kang as the new Trade Commissioner for South Asia and British Deputy High Commissioner for Western India – based in Mumbai.
Kang, who will succeed Alan Gemmell OBE in the role of Deputy High Commissioner, has until recently been the UK’s Chief Negotiator for the ongoing UK-India free trade agreement (FTA) talks. Before joining the UK’s Department for Business and Trade (DBT), Kang spent nearly 30 years at AstraZeneca, later becoming the Global Commercial Director focusing on creating affordable solutions for pharmaceutical access in less developed regions. He is also a member of the Council of the University of Birmingham.
In his new role, he is expected to carry on pivotal work in supporting the implementation of the FTA – expected to bring huge opportunities for both countries.
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Kang said: “It is an honour to be appointed as Trade Commissioner for South Asia and Deputy High Commissioner for Western India, both vibrant and growing regions which are pivotal to the UK’s security and prosperity.
“I am deeply committed to fostering strong relationships between the UK and South Asia and am excited about the opportunities ahead as we strengthen our economic ties and forge new partnerships in the region to create jobs, promote innovation and drive economic growth at home and abroad.”
He will be succeeded in the role of the UK’s Chief Negotiator for the UK-India FTA talks by Kate Thornley, previously Deputy Chief Negotiator.
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His Majesty’s Trade Commissioners (HMTCs) lead the UK’s overseas effort to promote UK trade, investment, trade policy and export finance for designated regions. They are expected to generate business opportunities for the UK, while contributing to the growth of sustainable, resilient, and productive economies across respective regions associated with their roles.
According to the DBT, with an economy worth over £3.2 trillion and a growing population, a flourishing trade and investment relationship with South Asia holds vast potential for UK businesses and consumers.