Looking for biz, Cameron urges India to further open financial sector

Cameron Manmohan

The UK today asked India to further open financial sector services like banking and insurance to boost investments between the two countries.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is leading the biggest business delegation from the UK, met members of the leading chambers, CII, Ficci and Assocham.

"The British Prime Minister was very positive in the meeting. He asked the Indian government to further open financial sector services and increase cooperation in sectors like education and skill development," a CII official, who was present in the meeting, said.

The official said Cameron has assured a facilitative visa regime for Indian businessmen and students.

"On education, Cameron emphasised the need to enhance cooperation between British and Indian institutes on skill development. The UK business community is very interested in the Indian defence sector as well," the official added.

Besides CEOs of several companies, Ficci President Naina Lal Kidwai and CII President Adi Godrej were present at the meeting.

During the morning session, six round-table meetings took place on issues including manufacturing, education and innovation, financial sector, primary healthcare, infrastructure, retail and food.

"The meeting was very comprehensive. Both sides discussed about various opportunities present in these areas in both the sides," a Ficci official who was present in the meeting said.

Taking note of emerging Indian infrastructure sector, the UK side expressed interest in India's ambitious Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project, the official said, adding both sides pressed to remove hurdles in boosting trade and investment between the countries.

"Issues like collaboration in defence sector including co-production, technology transfer, opening up of financial sector and cooperation among small and medium enterprises were discussed in great detail," he said.

On the skill development issue, business community of both the sides talked about partnership between Indian and UK institutes.

The bilateral trade between the nations stood at USD 16.25 billion in 2012.12. During April 2000 and November 2012, India has received FDI worth USD 17 billion from the UK.

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