Britain keen to strengthen economic ties with India

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Mumbai, July 28 (ANI): George Osborne, British Chancellor of Exchequer, rang the opening bell at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Wednesday, as he seeks to forge stronger economic ties between the nations.

"There is mutual opportunity for India and for Britain to trade with each other, to finance each other, to exchange cultural ties and to bring greater prosperity to both our populations," Osborne told reporters.

Osborne expressed his desire for the British companies to participate in India's infrastructure development and invited Indian banks to invest in UK.

"We believe we can help India to finance infrastructure it needs over the coming ten years. Also, we believe we can help rural India to connect even better to the global economy. We also believe that Indian banks and Indian financial institutions have a huge amount to offer the United Kingdom, and we particularly welcome the listing of Indian banks in London and the establishment of headquarters by Indian banks in London," Osborne said.

There is expectation that India will opens her insurance market. At present, only joint ventures are allowed with the foreign company holding a maximum 26 percent stake.

While India clearly offers a big opportunity for UK companies, greater ties will also play well at home. At 1.2 million people, Indians are the single largest ethnic group in Britain.

They are also one of the most affluent communities, numbering huge numbers of business and professional people-natural sources of support for the Conservative Party.

For India, culturally and politically, the focus now is much more on the United States which allowed India in 2008 to participate in the market for nuclear materials.

The Chancellor of Exchequer is in India along with a delegation accompanying the British Prime Minister, David Cameron and a spectrum of senior policy makers, business analysts and investors. (ANI)

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