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UK committed to enhanced partnership with India

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UK committed to enhanced partnership with India

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First India visit by British minister after UK polls.

The Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister in charge of the Cabinet Office, will visit Mumbai and Delhi from 27-29 July 2015. Mr Letwin is the first British Cabinet Minister to visit India after the British general elections held in May.

Mr Letwin’s visit will focus on deepening the warm relationship between India and the UK ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK in November. Mr Letwin will meet Ministers in Maharashtra and Delhi, along with top Government officials and business leaders with the aim of strengthening economic and financial collaboration between the two countries. Mr Letwin will also reiterate the UK Government’s offer of £1bn of export finance credit in support of infrastructure and other needs in India.

Mr Oliver Letwin said:

I would like to reiterate the British Government’s commitment to work towards ‘an enhanced partnership with India’. Our Government launched the GREAT Collaborations campaign to complement Prime Minister Modi’s vision of Make in India. We look forward to forging a stronger commercial and economic relationship with his Government and to welcoming him to the UK later this year.

In Mumbai, Mr Letwin will meet the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Mr Devendra Fadnavis, to discuss further strategic engagement between Maharashtra and the UK. They will discuss co-operation on the Maharashtra government’s ambitions around ease of doing business, smart cities, financial services, skills and education. Mr Fadnavis and Mr Letwin will attend a reception for leading business personalities hosted by the British Deputy High Commissioner in Mumbai, Mr Kumar Iyer.

Mr Letwin will also undertake a series of high level calls including on the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India Mr Raghuram Rajan, the Chairman of the State Bank of India Mrs Arundhati Bhattacharya, Mr Anand Mahindra and Deepak Parekh the Chairman of HDFC. The Minister will participate in a round table with CEOs of leading Mumbai financial institutions.

Speaking about his visit to Mumbai, Mr Letwin said:

It is inspiring to see the broad range of engagement between the UK and Maharashtra stretching from business and infrastructure to arts and education. It is particularly good to see the clear focus in Maharashtra on improving the climate for business.

Welcoming the visit Mr Fadnavis said:

The UK is one of the biggest investors in Maharashtra. It is also a key strategic partner. With offers of funding support for infrastructure to the extensive support on the Ease of Doing Business, we greatly value our partnership with the UK.

In New Delhi, Mr Letwin will call on the Finance Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley to discuss financial and economic cooperation between the UK and India. He is scheduled to discuss infrastructure and bilateral cooperation between the UK and India with Railways Minister Mr Suresh Prabhu, and clean energy financing with Power Minister, Mr Piyush Goyal. He will also meet the Commerce Secretary, Mr Amitabh Kant to discuss the UK’s support to India in improving the country’s ease of doing business climate.

Mr Letwin will also launch a British Council report on Social Entrepreneurship. The report’s preliminary findings suggest how the UK and India can work together to develop social entrepreneurship.

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