Indo-UK bilateral trade to reach USD 20 billion by 2020

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Basanti (Sunderbans), Feb 11 (UNI) With Indian economy registering an eight per cent annual growth in its GDP, the nation could witness its bi-lateral trade with the UK have an year-on-year growth of around 20 per cent taking it to around USD 60 billion in 2020.

British High Commissioner Richard Stagg, while interacting with the media during a Climate Change project funding in the Sunderbans, said, ''At present the trade between India and England is fairly even at USD eight million. But it has a scope for growth with the Indian economy taking bolder steps every year.'' Asked about India's investment prospects in the UK, he said, ''Indian economy can only move upwards. But to invest in the UK the companies will have to inculcate high levels of skill and values. IT is one sector and there are other areas coming up too. We feel that investments are the blood of our economy. The UK is an open area.'' He further said areas in which England is keen on investing are service sectors like banking, legal insurance, general insurance and pension schemes. Retail business is another area where there is great potential especially in the agro-industry, which includes food processing and preservation.

Mr Stagg said energy and automobiles are other sectors where India could be a big market.

Asked about the objection raised by some of the political parties, especially the Left Front, a partner in the UPA coalition government at the Centre, regarding the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), he said, India is one of the largest economies of the world and it will decide on its investment process.

''We are open to investment as much as we are keen on investing.

If the Indian customers get a little more by investing into the British companies, we see an Indian benefit there,'' he said.

UNI BA PP RD 1319

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