An action plan to forge new business and academic ties between the West Midlands and India has been launched by Minister for the region Liam Byrne MP.
More than 30 Indian-owned businesses now operate in the region and the new "India and West Midlands Business Action Plan" sets out proposals to explore, improve and promote links with one of the world's fastest growing economies.
Birmingham MP Mr Byrne (Hodge Hill) announced details of the Action Plan after a visit to the Black Country manufacturing firm Stokes Group Ltd, which was acquired by Mumbai-based Mahindra & Mahindra in 2006, a deal which safeguarded 285 jobs.
Wolverhampton MP Pat McFadden, the Minister of State for Employment Relations and Postal Affairs at the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), also voiced his support for the Action Plan.
Mr McFadden founded the Wolverhampton India Project last year to promote trade, educationa and sports links with India, in particular the Punjab region.
Two-way trade between the UK and India is today worth £8.7 billion per year and is growing by around 10 per cent annually - a growth which West Midlands businesses are keen to tap into.
The consultation document, prepared by regional development agency (RDA) Advantage West Midlands and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), sets out plans to establish an India Co-ordination Group (ICG) later this autumn to unlock potential multi-million pound trade and investment opportunities between India and the region.
The ICG would co-ordinate the existing and successful work of UKTI, Advantage West Midlands, the region's universities and the ethnic business community to improve awareness of the opportunities in India and ensure the region's businesses are well placed to prosper from India's growth.
Mr Byrne said: "India is a country transforming itself from a low income economy into a world economic superpower and it is clear from the Indian investment successes already in this region that the West Midlands can play a huge part in that transformation.
"The number of Indian companies in the West Midlands has doubled since 2006, and this year we saw the biggest deal of all: Tata's acquisition of Jaguar Land Rover made it the largest foreign investor in the region, employing over 13,000 staff.
"I saw on my own trip to India earlier this year that these signs are only a glimmer of what could lie ahead.
"Indian business people, economists, entrepreneurs and journalists told me that they saw real potential in uniting Indian market scale and cost structure with innovation, enterprise and creativity that is so strong and dynamic in the West Midlands.
"The India and West Midlands Business Action Plan is a major step towards developing that relationship and is another key priority achieved since I become Minister for the West Midlands a year ago."
Advantage West Midlands, which is responsible for showcasing the region to overseas business, is the first RDA in the country to publish an India Business Action Plan.
The Wolverhampton India Project founded by Mr McFadden is a collaboration between the city's Chamber of Commerce, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, the City Council, University, College and Ashram Housing Association.