World news story

UK committed to enhanced partnership with India

First India visit by British minister after UK polls.


The Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister in charge of the Cabinet Office, will visit Mumbai and Delhi from 27-29 July 2015. Letwin is the first British Cabinet Minister to visit India after the British general elections held in May.

Letwin’s visit will focus on deepening the warm relationship between India and the UK ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK in November. Letwin will meet ministers in Maharashtra and Delhi, along with top government officials and business leaders with the aim of strengthening economic and financial collaboration between the two countries. Letwin will also reiterate the UK government’s offer of £1billion of export finance credit in support of infrastructure and other needs in India.

Oliver Letwin said:

I would like to reiterate the British government’s commitment to work towards ‘an enhanced partnership with India’. Our government launched the GREAT Collaborations campaign to complement Prime Minister Modi’s vision of Make in India. We look forward to forging a stronger commercial and economic relationship with his Government and to welcoming him to the UK later this year.

In Mumbai, Letwin will meet the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis, to discuss further strategic engagement between Maharashtra and the UK. They will discuss co-operation on the Maharashtra government’s ambitions around ease of doing business, smart cities, financial services, skills and education. Fadnavis and Letwin will attend a reception for leading business personalities hosted by the British Deputy High Commissioner in Mumbai, Kumar Iyer.

Letwin will also undertake a series of high level calls including on the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India Raghuram Rajan, the Chairman of the State Bank of India Arundhati Bhattacharya, Anand Mahindra and Deepak Parekh the Chairman of HDFC. The minister will participate in a round table with CEOs of leading Mumbai financial institutions.

Speaking about his visit to Mumbai, Letwin said:

It is inspiring to see the broad range of engagement between the UK and Maharashtra stretching from business and infrastructure to arts and education. It is particularly good to see the clear focus in Maharashtra on improving the climate for business.

Welcoming the visit Fadnavis said:

The UK is one of the biggest investors in Maharashtra. It is also a key strategic partner. With offers of funding support for infrastructure to the extensive support on the ease of doing business, we greatly value our partnership with the UK.

In New Delhi, Letwin will call on the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley to discuss financial and economic cooperation between the UK and India. He is scheduled to discuss infrastructure and bilateral cooperation between the UK and India with Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, and clean energy financing with Power Minister, Piyush Goyal. He will also meet the Commerce Secretary, Amitabh Kant to discuss the UK’s support to India in improving the country’s ease of doing business climate.

Letwin will also launch a British Council report on social entrepreneurship. The report’s preliminary findings suggest how the UK and India can work together to develop social entrepreneurship.

Further information:

  • Oliver Letwin’s photo and profile.

  • GREAT Collaborations: In response to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to the world to ‘Make in India’, the UK launched a campaign to celebrate and inspire ‘GREAT Collaborations’ between the UK and India. The campaign will over time showcase and promote areas of collaboration that benefit both countries across a range of sectors such as energy, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, ease of doing businesses, skills, smart cities, financial services and infrastructure.

  • the India-UK Financial Partnership was launched by the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and the Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to deepen financial services links between India and the UK and strengthen cooperation between London and Mumbai as financial centres. Uday Kotak, Executive Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Bank and Sir Gerry Grimstone, Chairman of Standard Life are the industry leads.

  • Ease of Doing Business: In January 2015, the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) signed a MoU with Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) on broad co-operation on ease of doing business. The UK government is collaborating with the government of Maharashtra and Ministry of Commerce on exchanging best practices on regulatory reform, and share UK’s experience in rising in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business rankings from 11 to 8.

  • the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) supports businesses with the insights, networks, policy advocacy, services, and facilities needed to succeed in India. With this aim and to celebrate the strength of the India-UK relationship and unlock further commercial opportunities the UK India Business Council will be holding the India-UK Business Convention in New Delhi from 10 – 12 September 2015 in Delhi. The convention will bring together business leaders and policy makers from both countries to explore further collaborative steps against the background of a strengthening relationship and strengthening economies in both countries.

  • skills development: The Maharashtra Ministry of Education have invited city and Islington college in the UK to help create a Centre of Forensic Excellence in the state; a scoping study by the British High Commission supported by the British Council for the creation of an Automotive Centre of Excellence in Pune is currently underway; UK colleges have been invited by the Minister of Education for a roundtable on Flexible Routes to Higher Education, planned in December 2015.

  • arts & culture: There have been major collaborations between the CSMVS in Mumbai and UK institutions such as:

    • the British Museum (Mummy: The Inside Story (2012 – 13)
    • the Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: a New Beginning 21 December to February 2014)
    • V&A, British Library and Tate (first collaboration with CSMVS: Howard Hodgkin: Paintings 1984 – 2015 A Tribute (2015), Courtauld Institute.

For more information please contact:

Stuart Adam, Director,
Press and Communications
British High Commission,
Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021
Tel: 44192100; Fax: 24192411

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Published 26 July 2015