The Chancellor today (Friday 13 March) hailed the increasingly important relationship between Britain and India’s economies as he hosted a bilateral meeting with Indian Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley in London.
The meeting focused on the government’s work to strengthen its already well-established economic ties with India and precedes tomorrow’s unveiling of the new statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Parliament Square.
The statue, which was first announced by the Chancellor last July, underlines the importance of the UK’s cultural ties with India, as well as its economic links.
During their meeting, the Chancellor and the Finance Minister discussed the progress made since 2010 in strengthening and deepening co-operation between Britain and India on economic and financial issues, including increased inward investment in each other’s economies.
The UK has established itself as the biggest major investor in India in the G20, and India invests more in the UK than it does in the rest of the EU combined.
The two then affirmed the importance of continuing this progress in the future, building on each country’s respective strengths.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:
Building on our already strong relationship with India has been a key priority of this government. At the heart of our long term economic plan is developing closer links with fast-growing emerging markets like India – links that benefit both countries in terms of growth and jobs.
But our cultural ties with India are just as important as our economic links, and this visit is also an opportunity for the Indian government to meet the British Indian community and see their enormous contribution.
Together we will celebrate the unveiling of the Gandhi statue in Parliament Square, which I announced on my visit to India last July on a trip to see Prime Minister Modi. I’m delighted work has progressed so quickly and honoured that Finance Minister Jaitley is here to unveil this symbolic statue.
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and the Prime Minister’s Indian Diaspora Champion, Priti Patel, said:
Nurturing and expanding the financial partnership between the UK and India has been a key objective of the government since 2010, so it’s great that today we’ve been able to announce further progress towards this during Finance Minister Jaitley’s visit to London.
We will continue to build ever closer engagement with the Indian government, so that both of our great nations can benefit from the economic and cultural rewards.
The Chancellor also welcomed the announcement that Mumbai-based manufacturing and energy firm Indsur Group have invested £25 million in their UK operations, which include the newly acquired Newcastle-based thermal engineering firm, Henderson Site Services.
As part of the meeting between the Chancellor and Indian Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley, they discussed the passage of the Indian Insurance Bill, which will create opportunities for UK insurers in India and deepen UK-India financial and economic links.
The Chancellor also announced a new scholarship for Indian finance professionals to study in the UK. The Chevening Financial Services Leadership course will be the first of its kind and help strengthen future financial ties between the two countries, while further cementing Britain’s position as the centre for global finance.
The Treasury will later today jointly host a roundtable discussion with the City of London Corporation and the London Stock Exchange for Finance Minister Jaitley to meet a group of senior institutional investors.
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Priti Patel will open the discussion, which will focus on the opportunities for investing in the Indian financial market. Key recommendations will be fed into the India-UK Financial Partnership.