Less than a month ago, prime minister David Cameron led a high-powered delegation to India. His press people said it was the biggest entourage of British business people ever taken on an overseas trip by a British PM.
In Mumbai, Cameron insisted that India was “one of the great success stories of this century”, adding that he believed it would be a top three world economy by 2030.
He told journalists: “We’ve only just started on the sort of partnership that we could build. As far as I’m concerned, the sky is the limit.”
So it is unfortunate that this new-found horizon does not seem to stretch as far as 24 October, when India stages its first-ever IFAT INDIA. The country’s new trade fair for “water, sewage, refuse and recycling” runs over three days at the Bombay Exhibition Center (BEC) in Mumbai.
China, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Switzerland and the US have all booked pavilions, but there are no plans for a British one to parade UK Waste plc. A spokesman for UK Trade & Investment said pavilions were on the agenda for major expo-style fairs and global sporting events but not IFAT.
With an industry as diverse as waste and recycling, it is difficult for all the different parts and associations to come together for such a major project. That is where we need Government departments to step in and make sure that a strong industry with, in many cases, world-leading skills and technology gets a chance to show them off.
There are still three months to go to the deadline for pavilions at BEC - time enough to start getting across that key British message.