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UK PM arrives today

British Prime Minister David Cameron arrived in India on Tuesday on a state visit, described as "unique in scale and ambition", riding high on plans to expand business and educational ties. Jayanth Jacob reports.

delhi Updated: Jul 27, 2010 23:14 IST
Jayanth Jacob

British Prime Minister David Cameron arrived in India on Tuesday on a state visit, described as "unique in scale and ambition", riding high on plans to expand business and educational ties.

Seven cabinet ministers, vice-chancellors and over 50 captains of industries are accompanying Cameron on his first visit as the Prime Minister to any of the emerging economies.

A 500 million pound deal for 67 hawk jets is expected to be concluded on this trip. The jets will be built at, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, near Bangalore, the first stop in Cameron's Indian itinerary.

The bigwigs of British finance and industry arrived with Cameron including Richard Lambert, Director General of Confederation of British Industry; Xavier Rolet, Chief Executive, London Stock Exchange; Miles Cowdry, Director of Global Corporate Development, Rolls Royce; Barclays Chief Executive, John Varley and Peter Sands, Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered.

Cameron will also be visiting IT major Infosys and will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the capital on Thursday.

"This is a visit of unique scale and ambition. The delegation of Ministers and leading figures from the spheres of British business, sport, the arts, and civil society have been carefully selected to start the process of building an even closer and more productive relationship between the UK and India, one that is for the long-term, focused on addressing the strategic challenges of global security, sustained economic growth, and climate change, to mutual benefit," said Richard Stagg, British envoy to India.

Other issues expected to figure in the discussions include the civil nuclear cooperation and Afghanistan. India will also raise its concern over the changes UK is planning to put in place on its migration policy.

"There is no huge disconnect between the UK and India over Afghanistan-Pakistan. We have the same objective…" Stagg added.