British businesses based in towns in the Midlands such as Birmingham and Leicester should focus on India as it offered greater opportunities than China, according to an adviser to consulting major Deloitte.
Speaking at the Institute of Directors in Birmingham, Roger Bootle, economic adviser to Deloitte said that while the Chinese economy was undoubtedly powering ahead, India, in his opinion, offered even greater opportunities across the next three decades.
Speaking on theme 'Outlook for the Economy', he pointed out that businesses had direct access to India from the Midlands, and it was the nearest of the two fast-emerging economies.
Institute chairman John James said, "Birmingham businesses and Birmingham City Council will be missing a big trick if they don't heed Roger's message about India.
"Nowhere in Britain has closer links to the Indian community and we can fly to India directly whereas we can't to China. India should be our prime target market for the future."
Meanwhile, reports from Birmingham say that engineering firm Hampson Industries was in talks with Hindustan Aeronautics to supply components. The firm, which has a facility on the sub-continent, is targeting annual revenue of about £8 million from India by 2011.