George Osborne and William Hague promote business with UK to India
UK Chancellor George Osborne, with Foreign Secretary William Hague, has offered foreign direct investment opportunities to India, hoping to secure lucrative deals to the benefit of the subcontinent and of course Britain.
Mr Osborne is keen to build a strong, mutually advantageous relationship with India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is equally enthusiastic about delivering on his election promises to transform the country.
Speaking during a news conference in Mumbai, the chancellor said that Mr Modi is looking for more investment in India’s economy and what better way to provide it than through British companies.
Attending with Mr Osborne on his two-day trip to India is Mr Hague, who is assisting his fellow politician in boosting commercial ties and strengthening existing ones.
As an indicator of how serious the UK is in developing a long and fruitful relationship with India, the chancellor revealed that it would be offering a £1 billion credit line to assist British companies in their investment efforts.
“We have announced a £1 billion pound credit loan for investment in Indian infrastructure where there is some British content and that is the largest single credit line we have extended to any specific sector in any country,” commented Mr Osborne.
Given that India still requires significant amounts of funding and expertise in modernising roads, ports and power across the board, the offer is likely to attract a lot of interest.
India, which has the sixth largest economy in the world and the third largest in Asia, is an ambitious and burgeoning nation, eager to shed off its image as a country locked in the past.
Under Prime Minister David Cameron’s stewardship, British exports to India have increased by 50 per cent over the last four years. While impressive, the overall value is still far below international trading agreements with other nations.