The UK chancellor and foreign secretary are meeting the new Indian PM Narendra Modi in an attempt to strengthen relationships between countries and ensure Britain’s participation in the infrastructure boom promised by India’s leader.
George Osborne and William Hague are visiting India to meet Modi, who was elected as Prime Minister in May. The pair want to make sure the UK gets its share in the country’s growth, expected from foreign investment in the infrastructure sector.
Speaking in Mumbai, Chancellor George Osborne said, “Good days are coming for the investment we make in each other’s economies. Good days are coming for the trade between our two trading nations. Good days are coming for the financial partnership we can forge to build, literally, the infrastructure of the future.
“Prime Minister Modi is seeking more investment in India’s economy – and I want British companies to provide it, and the British government to support it.”
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Hague added, “We are here this week with the biggest delegation yet to meet the new government – as a sign that we want to unleash the vast potential in the strong ties between India and the United Kingdom.
“Our countries are committed to the values of democracy and freedom of expression, we are fellow members of the Commonwealth, and our societies are deeply linked”.
Many UK firms, including GlaxoSmithKline and BP, already have invested in India and Osborne will also announce a £250 million deal to supply defence equipment from the UK to the Indian air force.
Relationships between the UK government and the nationalist Indian leader have been re-established after a boycott due to allegation that Modi, chief minister of Gujarat in 2002, had allowed religious riots in which Muslims were killed.
Since his victory, Modi has been praised for boosting the Indian economy by privatising infrastructure and services and promoting solar energy.
Photo: altogetherfool via Flickr