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India set to become top Asian investor in UK

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Kolkata, Mar 24 (UNI) India is all set to become the top Asian investor in the UK in 2005-06 surpassing Japan and China, Mr Mark Dolan, Deputy Director-Inward Investment, UK Trade and Investment, British High Commission, New Delhi, said here today.

This will help India reach the top four slot among investors from all countries investing in the UK, Mr Dolan told reporters.

UK got around 160 billion pounds of foreign direct investment last year, he said.

Knowledge based IT and BPO, pharmaceutical/healthcare, financial services and automotive components would be the areas for business potential for Indian companies in the UK, Mr Dolan said.

In the first three quarters this fiscal, IT/BPO sector received 37 per cent, financial services (16 per cent), pharmaceuticals (13 per cent) and automotive components (five per cent) of total foreign investments in the UK, he said.

''Around 60 per cent of Indian investments in Europe come to the UK. We have commissioned a study by the Commonwealth Business Council to study the quantum of investments between the UK and India. The report is expected by April this year,'' he said.

As part of its policy to promote UK's commercial and industrial strengths to step up bilateral business with India, the British government has drawn up a strategy to make the UK trade and Investment cell proactive.

The ''UK Trade and Investment India Business Awards 2006'' will be instituted from November 2006 in Mumbai to recognise Indian success in global business.

The selection panel for the awards comprises four Indians and is chaired by Sir Michael Arthur, British High Commissioner in India.

Mr Dolan said PriceWaterhouse Coopers have also been engaged to study the business scope in water infrastructure in India and an interim report is expected shortly.

About the much talked-about Arcelor bid by Mittal Steel, he said, ''The British government recognises the trend of acquisitions for increasing productivity and businesses should have no fears about acquisitions.'' UNI TJP KK SD KN1832

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