Prime Minister David Cameron has called for a “stronger, wider and deeper” relationship between Britain and India.
Speaking at IT company Infosys in Bangalore this morning, Mr Cameron said India was important for Britain’s economic future and a partnership between the two countries would help to tackle global challenges such as climate change and security.
The PM has led a delegation of Government ministers and representatives of UK business, industry, sport and culture to India to promote increased trade and investment with the UK.
The PM said:
India represents an enormous opportunity for British companies. Already our trade relationship is worth £11.5 billion a year. But I want us to go further. India plans to invest $500billion in infrastructure in the coming years. That is of course good for Indian business, but it is also a chance for British companies to generate growth. Your retail market is growing by 25 per cent annually, and there is no reason why British companies should not be part of that too…
I want this to be a relationship which drives economic growth upwards, and drives our unemployment figures downwards. This is a trade mission, yes, but I prefer to see it as my jobs mission.
Earlier, the PM met the Governor of Karnataka, the state where Bangalore is located. Tomorrow he is set to meet Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Following his speech at Infosys, the Prime Minister toured the Hawk facility at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and welcomed the finalisation of a £700 million agreement between BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and HAL which is expected to support more than 200 jobs in the UK.
Speeches and transcripts: PM’s speech in India
The visit to India follows Mr Cameron’s trip to Turkey, where he held talks with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and spoke of his support for Turkey’s bid to join the European Union.
Previous story: PM backs Turkey’s EU bid