Trade with India high on Cameron’s agenda


New Delhi : Trade with India will be high on the agenda of British Prime Minister David Cameron who arrives Monday at the head of a 100-member business delegation.

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Cameron, who lands in Mumbai Monday, would be visiting the Hindustan Unilever headquarters in the morning and have a luncheon meeting with business leaders at the Taj Mahal Palace.

Cameron would be heading an “over 100-member business delegation” besides some ministers, a diplomatic source told IANS.

Britain – at risk of entering into a triple-dip recession after its economy shrank in the final quarter of 2012 – would push for more trade with India, “see the fields where the UK can step in”, the source said.

India-Britain trade rose to $16.157 billion in 2011-12, up 27 percent from $12.56 billion in 2010-11. The two countries upgraded their relations to a strategic partnership in 2004.

On Tuesday, in New Delhi, Cameron would attend a business luncheon meeting hosted by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India (Assocham), and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

The British prime minister last visited India in July 2010. He has said that he wants India-Britain ties to be “one of the great partnerships of the 21st century”.

About 700 Indian companies have operations in Britain, with over 70 of them listed on the London Stock Exchange. London supports India’s permanent membership at the United Nations Security Council and is an important interlocutor for India in the European Union, G8, and G20.