Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, hailed the increasingly important relationship between Britain and India’s economies as he hosted a bilateral meeting with Indian Finance Minister Mr Arun Jaitley in London.
The meeting focused on the government’s work to strengthen its already well-established economic ties with India and precedes tomorrow’s unveiling of the new statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Parliament Square. The statue, which was first announced by the Chancellor last July, underlines the importance of the UK’s cultural ties with India, as well as its economic links.
During their meeting, the Chancellor and the Finance Minister discussed the progress made since 2010 in strengthening and deepening co-operation between Britain and India on economic and financial issues, including increased inward investment in each other’s economies. The UK has established itself as the biggest major investor in India in the G20, and India invests more in the UK than it does in the rest of the EU combined.
The two then affirmed the importance of continuing this progress in the future, building on each country’s respective strengths.
Mr Osborne said: “Building on our already strong relationship with India has been a key priority of this government. At the heart of our long term economic plan is developing closer links with fast-growing emerging markets like India – links that benefit both countries in terms of growth and jobs.
“But our cultural ties with India are just as important as our economic links, and this visit is also an opportunity for the Indian government to meet the British Indian community and see their enormous contribution.
“Together we will celebrate the unveiling of the Gandhi statue in Parliament Square, which I announced on my visit to India last July on a trip to see Prime Minister Modi. I’m delighted work has progressed so quickly and honoured that Finance Minister Jaitley is here to unveil this symbolic statue.”
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and the Prime Minister’s Indian Diaspora Champion, Priti Patel, said: “Nurturing and expanding the financial partnership between the UK and India has been a key objective of the government since 2010, so it’s great that today we’ve been able to announce further progress towards this during Finance Minister Jaitley’s visit to London.
“We will continue to build ever closer engagement with the Indian government, so that both of our great nations can benefit from the economic and cultural rewards.”
The Chancellor also welcomed the announcement that Mumbai-based manufacturing and energy firm Indsur Group have invested £25 million in their UK operations, which include the newly acquired Newcastle-based thermal engineering firm, Henderson Site Services. The firm will also invest in upgrading and other new acquisitions over six months as part of Indsur Group’s consolidation and investments in the UK.