Britain to increase trade focus on India

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New Delhi, Apr 3 (UNI) The Britain government will increase its focus on India for trade and investment and hopes to enhance bilateral economic relationship with the country.

''Britain is focusing on India for trade and investment, as never before, and I hope this will take the bilateral economic relationship to a new high,'' British High Commissioner to India Sir Richard Stagg told mediapersons here.

The British government will create an enabling situation for private sectors of both countries to come together, do business and invest in each other's country, he added.

''To facilitate the two-way trade and investment flows, the trade and investment offices of Britain in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad can provide value-added information on investment procedures in Britain, potential partners, etc,'' Sir Richard said.

Referring to the growing Indo-UK partnership in a range of areas including services and manufacturing, the High Commissioner said, ''to our reckoning, there are more than 500 Indian companies, which have invested in the UK and their number is increasing.'' When asked about his views as to how to tide over the recurring global financial problems, Sir Richard said the international problems should have international solutions. ''No one country or a group of countries can find solutions to such problems,'' he said adding that the role of IMF as a regulator was more crucial in addressing such issues.

Talking about visa restrictions, which come in the way for furthering economic ties, Sir Richard said his country has again started issuing visas for 10 years. ''Irritants in the issuance of visas can be sorted out through negotiations,'' he added.

Britain had launched a new points-based visa regime on Tuesday for professionals and highly-skilled people from India wishing to migrate to the country.

India is the first country to get the new British visa regime, which will be extended to the rest of the world later in the year.

Under the new visa regime, applicants will need sufficient points to qualify. The new system has been designed to streamline the visa process for legitimate travellers.

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