New Delhi, Jan 20: Gordon Brown will arrive here today on his first visit as British Prime Minister to India.
The focus of his two-day trip will be on improving business ties and enhancing cooperation on climate change and counter-terrorism. Brown arrives in Delhi from China, and the visit will be about introducing British business to one of the Asia's economic giants. Brown last visited India in January 2007 as Chancellor of Exchequer.
This is the 4th India-UK Summit since the comprehensive strategic partnership between India and the UK was launched in September 2004.
During Prime Minister Manmohan Singh"s September 2004 visit, the two countries had adopted a Joint Declaration, which upgraded bilateral relations to the level of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership which listed a whole series of areas for cooperation – including cooperation in trade and investment; education; science and technology and other relations.
Further expansion of economic linkages, research and development collaboration and cooperation in higher education and academic exchanges; and cooperation in counter-terrorism are among the important areas for consultations.
The two sides will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) India-UK Higher Education Leadership Development Programme to develop leadership skills in Indian universities. University Grants Commission (UGC), India; Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE), UK and UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI), UK are the partners in the proposed MOU.
Brown's visit to India and China comes at a time when western economies are starting to see a slight slowdown.
So, while trade and investment will be at the top of the agenda at the summit in New Delhi, India will look at discussing immigration, which could become an issue as Britain starts to tighten its borders.