New Delhi, Mar.29 (ANI-Business Wire India): The Scottish Government has announced an 'India Plan' as part of a strategic intent for higher engagement with South Asia.
The plan was launched by the Scottish External Affairs Minister Fiona Hyslop.
Recognising the need for closely targeted activity to maximise the economic opportunities between Scotland and India, the India Plan focuses on four key areas - trade and investment, education and science, tourism and cultural links.
"The historical and enduring links between India and Scotland put us in a strong position to benefit from doing business with one of the world's fastest expanding economies. Links in education, business, tourism and culture are well-established and there are already strong collaborative relationships between Scottish and Indian organisations in these areas," said Hyslop.
"The value of the Plan is in bringing a strategic focus to Scotland's engagement with India, supporting the Scottish Government's Purpose of building sustainable economic growth. We have worked closely with the business community, further and higher education bodies, tourism and cultural bodies in compiling this Plan. It presents an opportunity to focus our collective efforts and maximise the mutual benefit for India and Scotland," she added.
"With the Commonwealth Games being held in Delhi this year, building on existing cultural links will be invaluable in securing a successful cultural programme to accompany the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and a lasting legacy for the people of Scotland," Hyslop said.
The Indian Consul General in Scotland, Anil Kumar Anand, said: "India greatly welcomes the initiative of the Scottish Government to evolve a strategic plan on greater engagement with India. Such a plan would provide the necessary framework to intensify and focus on selected areas of cooperation for mutual benefit and raise the profile and content of the relations between India and Scotland.
"It is excellent that the Plan is being launched this year when we look forward to Delhi hosting the Commonwealth Games in October. There will be closer engagement between the countries in the run up to the Games and as Delhi hands over to Glasgow for 2014," Anand added.
India has the world's twelfth largest economy, and is the fourth largest purchasing power after the US, China and Japan.
With around 10 Indian companies making a total investment of 700 million pounds in Scotland during the last five years, and employing close to 2,500 people, India is an important investor.
Scottish Development International recently strengthened its presence in India. It now has an office in Mumbai, as well as Delhi.
India is Scotland's second largest international market for further and higher students.
The Scottish Government's programme of engagement with South Asia consists of an India Plan; a funding stream for Scotland-based organisations undertaking development projects in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka; a Pakistan Plan (in development); and a wider South Asia Plan (also in development). (ANI)