India, UK to open trade, markets to support growth

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London, Jan 20: Amid fears of the global economy edging close to recession, India and UK have agreed to open up trade and markets to support growth, carry out structural reforms and address issues related to cross-border tax evasion.

After talks between India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, the two nation's agreed to boost economic ties particularly in areas of infrastructure and financial services and renewed pledge for autonomical exchange of tax information from 2017.

India,UK to open trade to support growth

"From the Indian point of view, we were extremely interested in having the British investors look at infrastructure investments in India for which various possibilities were discussed," Jaitley said after the talks.

India, he said, is "extremely keen that large British companies, particularly involved in infrastructure financing, start investing in Indian infrastructure".

The two nations will work together for developing an India-UK partnership fund under the umbrella of National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) recently created in India.

"This fund will seek to increase flows of private sector capital and expertise alongside multilateral support into Indian infrastructure," a joint statement issued after talks said.

The world's fifth largest economy will work on development of smart cities in India. New Delhi is also looking at London for issuance of rupee-denominated bonds to get UK investors to fund its infrastructure projects.

"The possibility of their investing, either directly in projects or through the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) that we have created, were both discussed," Jaitely told reporters at the Indian High Commission here.

With the IMF warning of global economy being close to recession with 3.4 per cent growth this year, the two sides said they "remain concerned that global growth is falling short of expectations and that the risks to the global outlook have increased".

"In this regard we stand ready to take the necessary steps to open up trade and markets to support growth and jobs, and agree on the importance of structural reforms and pursuing credible fiscal policies," the joint statement said.


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