within few days - in less than 12 days. First President Hollande of France and then Prime Minister Cameron."
"We hope that there would be substantial outcome from the forthcoming visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron to India," he told reporters at India House here last night.
He said leaders from defence, manufacturing sector, mining, education, retail, banking and financial sectors will form part of his delegation.
Describing India's partnership with UK and France as strategic and very important, Sharma said: "Both UK and France are key partners. With UK, we enjoy a special relationship for historical reasons.
"We have a large Indian diaspora and a large number of Indian professionals and Indian students and the exchange embraces diverse sectors, from education to vocational education, to R&D innovation, health care, advance manufacturing, nuclear science and space science.
Similarly with France that is a strategic partnership with multiple sector engagement, he added.
"When we engage bilaterally, we look at the strengths of our bilateral engagement. In today's world economic engagement is integral how nations engage with each other with regional blocs, economic communities and globally.
"With UK we have fairly robust engagement when it comes to institutional linkages, trade and investment. There has been a marginal contraction of trade but that is happening globally because of the difficult economic situation," Sharma said.
The minister further said: "We have concerns which have affected the investors confidence, flow of capital from one part to the other and also trade.
"Still the two-way trade is USD 15 billion. British investment in India is about USD 28 billion. There are more in the pipeline."
The minister noted that India's investments are also very substantial in the UK.
"Indian companies are second largest employment provider in the manufacturing sector in the UK." He hoped that as a sequel to opening of FDI in retail, "there will be flow not only of investments but also of technology, modern grading, processing, cold storages, entire cold chain - integrated value chain, not only within the country from farm to kitchen but beyond that".