By Anasudhin Azeez
British Prime Minister David Cameron has congratulated India on its 66th Republic Day and said the “rising power” was on par with its erstwhile colonial master Britain speaking to Asian Lite exclusively.
“I send my warmest wishes to everyone in India, the UK and around the world celebrating the 65th anniversary of the Republic Day,” the prime minister said in his message. “I look forward to a future where the UK-India relationship continues to thrive and we share many more milestones and experiences.”
The British prime minister in his special message reiterated Britain’s commitment to build better relations with India. “This relationship between India and Britain has gone through great changes. Our collaboration is now stronger, deeper and more far-reaching. It is a partnership between two equals with a mutual respect for each other.”
“As millions of people mark this important milestone we can reflect on the enduring and special relationship between our two nations – the world’s oldest democracy and its largest. We are generating more jobs, more growth and more security for our two countries. And yet I believe that the future will only continue to get better for us both.”
During a recent interview with Asian Lite, Cameron said he is looking forward to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Britain.
“I hope it wouldn’t be too long,” he added. “I think the next stage would be very exciting.”
Cameron said the government will create more economic ties with India.
“India is one of the rising powers of the world, we should really try to work together,” the prime minister said. “Relationship with India is much stronger now. India invests more into Britain than anywhere in Europe and there is a rise of £5 billion since I became the prime minister. Britain is the Number 1 European investor into India and I am sure we can do better in trade.”
“The new government will cement and create more economic ties with India especially in the fields of infrastructure, smart cities, corridors for enterprising economic development,” Cameron said. “Britain and India also should work towards a common foreign policy to challenges of our time like terrorism and climate change.”
“The UK is working closely with India’s new government to increase trade and investment. We have made impressive progress – the UK is now the largest major investor in India, and India invests more in the UK than in the rest of the EU combined. I am keen to ensure with Prime Minister Modi that we meet that target.
“We are also enhancing our education links and building on the strong bond between our people. For example, our Generation-UK India Programme will this year begin to help 25,000 more British students develop professional and personal relations in India which we hope will lead to business partnerships.
“There is a natural fit between our economies which I have seen during my visits to India. Household British names like Vodafone, JCB and Serco have solid foundations in the country while iconic Indian firms like Tata group have a huge presence in the UK.
“Beyond our economic ties, I am extremely proud of our people to people connections and of the enormous contribution of the Indian community to Britain. Whether it is through enterprise, culture, public service or business British Indians are at the forefront of our country and make an incredibly positive impact.
“I look forward to a future where the UK-India relationship continues to thrive and we share many more milestones and experiences,” he concluded.