Sadiq Khan, Labour’s candidate for Mayor of London, pledged to make UK-India trade a top priority if elected as Mayor next May….reports Asian Lite News
Speaking at the Global Leaders Convention hosted by the Indian Institute of Directors in London, Sadiq Khan outlined his plans to be “the most pro-business Mayor London has ever had.” He promised to work to reopen the direct London-Ahmedabad flights which recently ceased to operate, and to oppose the Government’s restrictions on student visas.
“This great city is built on trade. It’s openness to people, ideas and commerce has for centuries been the engine of growth that propelled London – and the U.K. – to its position as one of the world’s most important markets,” he said referring to London’s place as a global trading city. Indeed, in a world that’s increasingly globalised and interconnected, London has cemented its position as the pre-eminent, most international city on the planet. But it’s absolutely crucial we don’t rest on our laurels.”
“I’ll promote the city as a destination for foreign investment and a home for overseas companies. And I’ll help seek out new markets for London businesses. Within a year of next May’s election, India will celebrate 70 years of independence. What a great opportunity to strengthen the links with London, and the UK. I can see the enormous potential for London’s insurance, pension and financial markets. Already British banks lend more to India than any other country – but with a mushrooming middle class swelling to over 300 million, this market is only going to get bigger. And I determined to do all I can to maximise that for the benefit for both sides.”
The Mayoral candidate supports the campaign to renew Air India flights to Ahmedabad from London. “Improved air capacity in and around London is crucial to this, which is why I favour a new runway at Gatwick. And I hope Air India will bring back the London – Ahmedabad route, which will be good for trade,” Mr Khan said. “Instead of making it more difficult for Indian students to come to UK universities, I want to make it easier. I want London to be the destination of choice for the brightest and the best and, selfishly, I want London to be a place Indian graduates want to stay, work, set up companies and contribute to the life of this great city.”
“Nearly two million Brits are of Indian decent. And they are renowned for their entrepreneurship and ingenuity. They might constitute only two per cent of the population but they make up five per cent of GDP. And, economically, the relationship goes from strength to strength. We are the third largest investors in each other’s countries. Indian companies in the UK generated over £19billion for the UK economy. Bilateral trade has tripled in a decade. Also, Indian firms employ more than 100,000 people in the UK. Tata group alone employs over 55,000 people. In fact the UK is the Indian business location of choice.”
“As Mayor, I’ll stand up to the silly visa restrictions this Government have placed on students. Students are not immigrants, and it’s about time Ministers realised this,” he said when asked about the restriction on student visas.