Brown looks for greater engagement with Indian business community

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New Delhi, Jan 20 (UNI) Premier Gordon Brown today said his two-day visit to India would look to engage Britain with the Indian business community that has been making a huge contribution in both the countries.

''My trip is at a time when the relationship between India and the UK is stronger than ever before and has seen a doubling of trade between the two countries in the last five years,'' Mr Brown said at the inauguration of the Caparo automotive stamping facility here.

Mr Brown flew in to New Delhi today from the Chinese city of Shanghai accompanied by senior industry figures, including Confederation of British Industry (CBI) director general Richard Lambert and Virgin Group's Chairman Richard Branson.

Mr Brown's delegation is expected to sign four billion dollars in deals.

Calling his visit to India as a celebration of strong relations the two countries enjoy, Mr Brown said '' all in India want to see a further strengthening of relations.'' During his visit, Mr Brown will take part in a women's empowerment event, an entrepreneurship summit and launch a sports initiative.

''Attending the business seminars, visiting the Delhi University and IIT and after various meetings with business delegations, we will see in the next two days an strengthening of relationships for years to come,'' Mr Brown said.

UK India bilateral trade in 2006 was 8.74 billion pounds up from 7.9 billion pounds in 2005. UK Exports of Goods to India was 2.69 billion pounds and service exports to India were 1.42 billion pounds.

Lord Swraj Paul, Member House of Lords, said Mr Brown's visit to the country will also be a opportunity to initiate discussions with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on poverty alleviation, besides trade and investment.

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