Britain, India to talk trade

London, January 15:

Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer Gordon Brown and trade and industry secretary Alistair Darling are set to visit India today for a three-day trip, Darling’s department said.

During the visit, the two will travel to Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore between Monday and Wednesday, and the trip will focus on increasing trade between Britain and India, the forthcoming steps on global trade and climate change.

“India is one of the great opportunities for British business,” Darling said. “We have much to offer and much to give, we can and should do be doing better.”

“With the chancellor, I am seeking to re-energise that relationship, make British and Indian business look afresh at what they can bring each other. With some of Britain’s best alongside me we can make a compelling case.”

Brown and Darling will be accompanied on the trip by more than 150 business leaders representing more than 80 British companies, including pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline, and accounting company KPMG.

Darling will also meet with three Indian ministers — minister for commerce and industry Kamal Nath, minister for petroleum and natural gas Murli Deora and minister for power Sushil Kumar Shinde.

About 1.8 per cent of Britain’s population of 60 million are of Indian origin, according to the 2001 census.