Indian-origin CEOs of prominent companies from the UK and the US joined a select gathering of business chiefs at a breakfast roundtable at St James’ Palace in London organised on Tuesday as part of US President Donald Trump’s ongoing state visit.
The meeting, hosted by outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May to “celebrate and strengthen” ties between the UK and the US, was attended by Rakesh Kapoor as CEO of leading British health and hygiene company Reckitt Benckiser.
“Reckitt Benckiser employs over 40,000 people worldwide, including 4,000 in the UK and 4,000 in the US; 20 million of its health and hygiene products are sold daily around the world,” Downing Street said in a statement ahead of the roundtable.
Representing the US side, Viswas Raghavan CEO of American multinational bank JP Morgan Chase in Europe was also among a total of 10 business leaders to attend the exclusive meeting.
“American multinational investment bank and financial services company JP Morgan is the largest bank in the US. It has offices in London, Bournemouth, Glasgow and Edinburgh with London serving as headquarters for the EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] region. The Bournemouth campus is the largest private sector employer in Dorset,” the statement said.
Discussions at the meeting focussed on research, development and innovation, investment in infrastructure and the scope for closer partnership in regulation and financial services.
“The businesses at the roundtable demonstrate the breadth of UK-US business links and represent a variety of sectors, from life sciences and defence to financial services and consumer products.
“They underscore the breadth of UK-US business ties and will discuss a number of areas where further collaboration can lead to greater investment and job creation in the future,” the statement said.
Others business chiefs in attendance represented BAE Systems, GlaxoSmithKline, National Grid, Barclays, Lockheed Martin, Goldman Sachs International, Bechtel and Splunk.
“Through dialogue like this we can ensure that our economic partnership not only endures but continues to grow stronger for many years to come making our businesses more competitive, and creating jobs, opportunity and prosperity for all our people,” May told the business leaders.
May is set to formally resign as British Prime Minister on Friday.
The US is the UK’s largest single trading partner in the world and trade between the two countries was worth 190 billion pounds last year, growing by more than 70 per cent over the last decade.
According to official figures, the British companies at the roundtable collectively employ around 176,000 people in the UK and US.
The meeting was also attended by Queen Elizabeth II’s son and UK trade ambassador Prince Andrew, the Duke of York; UK Chancellor Philip Hammond; UK International Trade Secretary Liam Fox; US Ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson; US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin; and Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump.