This morning I spoke at the India Summit.
I said that in Opposition when working on the Economic Policy Review for the Conservative party, I set out the likely rapid growth of India and China. Just carrying forward recent growth rates for these two large economies, alongside the very poor growth of Euroland and the slower growth of the US and UK, demonstrated that India and China are going to play an ever increasing role in the world economy and come to represent a much higher proportion of world trade. They will also wish to see this rise in economic power reflected in their position in world politics and by their representation in world fora. At a time when EU trade is performing weakly, Asian trade is rising strongly.
The Coalition was very receptive to this thinking. The newly elected government set out in its early days the need to strengthen the UK’s diplomatic ties and contacts with Asia. There were to be more Ministerial visits, better diplomatic representation, and more suport for the all important two way business links.
So it has proved. Today as we met in London, the Prime Minister was on his third official visit to India with trade and investment in mind. He is planning a new British business centre in Mumbai, and taking a lead to help UK companies win contracts in the Bangalore-Mumbai Economic corridor, as India steps up its infrastructure investment.
The UK has a lot to offer India. As India embarks on a major infrastructure programme, the UK can help plan, organise, finance and engineer major projects. India has already shown her talent as an investor in the UK, with success coming in particular to its investment in Jaguar Land Rover.