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Chancellor And Foreign Secretary Home From India

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 Foreign Secretary meets India’s minister for external affairs Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi

The Foreign Secretary William Hague and Chancellor George Osborne concluded their visit to India with a meeting with  Prime Minister Modi to discuss  how the UK and India can work together to the benefit of both countries.

They started their visit in Mumbai on Monday. There the Chancellor announced three major commercial deals between UK and India, helping to cement the close economic relationship between the two counties. These are:

  • £20 million of investment from automotive giant Mahindra in electric car research and development facilities in the UK
  • Up to £100 million of investment from Indian pharmaceutical company Cipla in the UK for of a range of drugs, clinical trials and research and development
  • a £250 million contract with MBDA UK for the supply of Advanced Short Range Air to Air Missiles for the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Jaguar fleet

These investments demonstrate the attractiveness of the UK as a centre for cutting edge research and development. They are also examples of the modern economic relationship between Britain and India the trip is intended to promote.

The Foreign Secretary announced more generous UK support for India’s most talented students through a quadrupling of the UK’s funding for Indian Chevening scholars over the next two years, and the granting of 500 GREAT Awards to support Indian students studying in the UK.

Also in Mumbai, they met Indian business leaders and the Chancellor met with the Central Bank Governor.

On arriving in Delhi on Tuesday, the Foreign Secretary and Chancellor announced plans for a statue of Mahatma Gandhi to be erected in Parliament Square.

They made the announcement while visiting the Gandhi Smriti, the Gandhi memorial.

The Chancellor and Foreign Secretary visit the Gandhi Smriti in New Delhi
The Chancellor and Foreign Secretary visit the Gandhi Smriti in New Delhi

The government hopes that this new memorial will be a lasting and fitting tribute to his memory in Britain, and a permanent monument to our friendship with India.

At his meeting with Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, the Foreign Secretary discussed building on the already warm relationship between the UK and India.

Following the meeting it was confirmed that the UK’s trade office in Ahmedabad would become a new Deputy High Commission, giving British businesses new and improved links to trade and investment opportunities in the state of Gujarat and providing enhanced consular services to the large British Gujarati community.

At his meeting with Finance minister Arun Jaitley, the Chancellor discussed strengthening the economic partnership between the two countries in infrastructure investment and financial services.

Ahead of the visit, the Chancellor met acclaimed Indian film actor Amitabh Bachchan in London on Friday. Over the last decade the Indian film industry has shot over 50 films in the UK.

The Chancellor with movie star Amitabh Bachchan ahead of his visit to India
The Chancellor with movie star Amitabh Bachchan ahead of his visit to India

 

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