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British trade minister on India visit from today

Indo-British economic ties are expected to receive a further boost with a four-day visit of Britain's Trade minister Ian McCartney.

india Updated: Nov 23, 2006 09:10 IST

Indo-British economic ties are expected to receive a further boost with a four-day visit of Britain's Trade minister Ian McCartney from Thursday during which he will meet top business leaders besides participating in Indian Economic Summit in the capital.

Accompanied by a high-level business delegation, largely drawn from UK's infrastructure sector, McCartney will have meetings with leading business figures in Kolkata to get first hand knowledge on how British business operates in eastern India.

In Delhi, he will represent the British government at the Indian Economic Summit.

On the eve of his visit, he said, "I am delighted to visit India for the first time, following on the heels of both the Prime Minister Tony Blair and Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett.

"The UK and India are engaged in one of the most profitable and significant bilateral trade and investment partnerships in the world for 2005 totaling £7.9 billion - an increase of over 20 per cent on 2004.

"Throughout this visit, I will have opportunities to meet with senior Indian ministers to talk about how we can work together to continue to achieve our shared goals in the international arena, particularly on trade and investment issues."

McCartney said he was particularly pleased to be accompanied by an extremely high-level business delegation - proof of UK business commitment to developing trade with India.