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The delegation will include parliamentarians, business leaders and other prominent members of the UK-India diaspora community.
On 6 January, the Prime Minister’s UK-India Diaspora Champion, and Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Priti Patel MP will arrive in Ahmedabad for a visit during which she will lead the UK delegation to the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention.
During her visit, the minister will speak at the inaugural session of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas alongside External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Youth Minister Sarbanand Sonwal, and will meet with business leaders and speak at the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce. She will also hold meetings with senior most government officials.
The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas this year also marks the celebration of 100 years since Mahatma Gandhi returned to Gujarat from South Africa. In addition to bilateral meetings and formal engagements at the PBD, the minister will therefore pay her respects to Mahatma Gandhi in a visit to the Sabarmati Ashram, from where he led the Salt March in 1930.
Priti Patel MP said:
I am looking forward to attending the thirteenth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention in Gujarat, which holds a special significance in celebrating the return to India of Mahatma Gandhi from overseas. I am hugely proud that the UK is home to such a talented and ambitious Indian diaspora, many of whom have accompanied me to the PBD as part of the UK delegation.
Last year, the UK was chosen as host nation for the first regional diaspora convention under the new Indian government, which celebrated the diaspora’s rich contribution to the UK and helped to make the UK-India relationship even stronger. The diaspora plays a vital role. Building ties between our two great nations - the UK and India - isn’t just an activity for governments. Every member of the UK Indian diaspora community – whether through business, trade and investment, tourism, education, culture, or family ties - plays a part in strengthening the relationship between our two nations.
In 2014, the British Government also worked to further strengthen the relationship and existing links between our two countries with initiatives such as the Chevening scholarship fund – for which funding will quadruple over the next two years - and the £1bn line of government credit for British investors in Indian infrastructure, which we hope will pay dividends for both countries in the coming year. And the UK remains ready and keen to support ever greater UK-India links in 2015. I am pleased to begin that engagement during my visit.
- Priti Patel MP has visited India in November 2013 (when she was appointed as the UK PM’s UK-India Diaspora Champion), January 2014 and July 2014.
- She accompanied the Prime Minister during his programme to New Delhi and Kolkata, attended the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention in 2014, and accompanied the Chancellor of the Exchequer to Mumbai and New Delhi.
- She has met with a wide range of interlocutors including Prime Minister Modi.
For further information email Asad Mirza or call on + 919810113775