"There is a positive perception in the UK (of Modi). He is making conciliatory noises on inclusiveness. The rhetoric is being matched by quick decisions," Cable said in an interaction with reporters here yesterday, when asked about perception of Modi and his policies in the United Kingdom.
"These are early days...," said Cable, who is currently leading a trade mission to India. Describing India as a "global economic heavyweight" with a young, dynamic and enterprising population, Cable said, "Prime Minister Modi has pledged to attract more investment, create jobs, boost trade and pursue greater prosperity." "Total UK-India trade in goods and services has risen significantly in the last few years.
In 2009, it was pound 11 billion. In 2013, it was pound 16.4 billion. We will hit or get close to the PM's target of doubling UK-India trade by 2015," he said. The secretary for business noted that trade missions like this will help the UK and India to forge a "new special relationship." "This has been a priority for the British government since 2010 and together, we have already achieved much.
The UK-India relationship has strong business foundations as well as deep people-to-people links," he said. India is the 7th largest investor in the UK, with Tata being the largest manufacturing employer, employing 45,000 people there.
There are approximately 25,000 Indian students studying in the UK, which offers up to 700 scholarships each year in addition to about 500 awards to Indian students for undergraduate and post graduate courses, as per the statistics released during the press conference.