Lord Mayor of London calls for opening up of Indian market

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Pune, Apr 18 (UNI) The Lord Mayor of London David Lewis today called for further opening up of the Indian market for growth of GDP.

Talking to newspersons here, the Lord Mayor said red tapism, bureaucratic delays and sometimes even legislation was coming in the way of liberalisation of the economy.

''There needs to be more financial inclusion, specially the banking sector, insurance, legal and health,'' he said, adding, India's case was unique in the whole world as it still did not allow foreign legal companies to practise English law or for foreign lawyers or law firms to represent cases.

Quoting a World Bank report about the ease of doing business in different countries, the Lord Mayor said as per the report, India ranked 120th of 178 nations, while China ranked higher than India.

While observing that 95 per cent of world trade was carried out by ships, Mr Lewis said the legislation in India, however, forbided 'forward trade derivatives' usually carried from ports, that was similar to future trading.

Asked whether there was a proposal submitted to the government in this regard, the Lord Mayor replied that they have been talking to 'people'.

He said Mumbai port ranked 48th in the world, even as port facilities had been expanded in Chennai and Mumbai. The market is growing at a rapid pace and it will continue to grow, for which free trade should be negotiated, he opined.

To another query about various business opportunities, the Lord Mayor said he was enthused by the young entrepreneurs here and felt that the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector was good for investments.

On trade between India and Britain, he said Britain was the second largest investor in India and trade stood at 8.7 billion pounds in 2006-07 and has been growing substantially.

The Lord Mayor is heading a delegation to India, as part of a concerted UK thrust to strengthen links with India in the financial services sector.

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