British minister Ian McCartney's visits India today
London, Nov 23: British Minister of State for Trade Ian McCartney will arrive in India today, following the India UK Investment Summit held in London last month, attended by the Prime Ministers of both countries.
His India visit is being seen as an indicator of the UK's continuing commitment to developing its bilateral business relationship with India.
After his stay in the country from 23-27 November, Mr McCartney will go to Pakistan for a day. It will be the first visit to Pakistan by a UK trade minister for several years.
In the country, the minister will be accompanied by a high level business delegation, largely drawn from the UK's infrastructure sector, including senior individuals from companies such as SERCO, British Gas and Halcrow, all of which are currently active in the Indian market.
Ahead of his visit, Mr McCartney, who is visiting the country for the first time said ''The UK and India are engaged in one of the most profitable and significant bilateral trade and investment partnerships in the world, with bilateral trade in goods and services for 2005 totalling 7.9 billion pound, an increase of over 20 per cent on 2004.'' He said being accompanied by the high level business delegation was proof of UK business commitment to developing trade with India.
Mr McCartney will meet with the leading business figures in Kolkata to learn first hand how British business operates in eastern part of the country and promote UK infrastructure/PPP strengths to key decision makers. In Delhi, he will represent HMG at the Indian Economic Summit.
About Pakistan, the Minister said ''The UK is the third largest investor in Pakistan and our two countries have been long time friends and partners. I will be accompanied on this visit by senior representatives from Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC, London Stock Exchange and HCA Healthcare. Together we look forward to meeting senior government ministers and strengthening our well-founded partnership in promoting peace and prosperity.'' In Islamabad, he will meet ministers and decision makers to stress the importance of the relationship between Pakistan and the UK and highlight the continued UK interest and confidence in the Pakistan market.