Keen to forge a new "special relationship" with fast emerging India, British Prime Minister David Cameron will head to the country later this month with a senior Cabinet delegation and top business leaders.
The Cabinet delegation accompanying Cameron on his first visit to a foreign country as prime minister, will comprise of top ministers including Foreign secretary William Hague, Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne and Business Secretary Vince Cable who will help him create an "enhanced partnership" with India, one of the world's fastest growing economies.
Leading British businessmen will also be part of the delegation as Britain seeks collaborations with Indian firms with an eye on the large market.
According to a report in The Daily Telegraph, ministers believe Britain must dramatically increase its business collaboration with Indian companies and universities to win a share of retail, banking and services markets which are expected to grow by 10 per cent per year.
There are over 500 Indian companies already operating in the UK. Britain is also expecting India to lift restrictions in the banking, insurance, financial and professional services sectors and allow law and accountancy firms to practise in the country. Ministers believe British universities could help meet India's growing demand for higher education centres. Hague said last week that Britain would suffer if it did not develop business and political links with rising economies such as India, Brazil and China.
Quoting officials, the report said British firms and universities can trade their technology and management skills for a share in India's future wealth by forming joint ventures and developing new goods and services together.
A number of British and Indian technology firms and university departments are already working together to develop secure mobile communication systems that could survive terrorist attacks and natural disasters.
Gopichand Hinduja, a billionaire and co-chairman of the London based Hinduja group, an investment firm, welcomed the scale of the Cabinet's planned trip to India, which he said would be seen as a sign of respect and sincerity in New Delhi. "India and Britain have strong historical bonds and the British understand India better than any other country in the world," he said.