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Gordon Brown in India to push bilateral ties

Britain's Treasury chief Gordon Brown began a three-day visit to India aimed at reviewing bilateral ties.

india Updated: Jan 17, 2007 17:46 IST

Britain's Treasury chief Gordon Brown began a three-day visit to India on Wednesday aimed at reviewing bilateral ties and exploring cooperation in the financial services and education sectors.

Brown, widely tipped as the successor to Prime Minister Tony Blair, was in Bangalore, India's technology hub, where he was scheduled to visit India's third-largest software company, Wipro Ltd and the leading pharmaceutical firm, Biocon, according to a statement from the British High Commission in New Delhi.

Later Wednesday, Brown was scheduled to address a business summit organised by India's largest business grouping, the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Brown faced criticism ahead of his trip for not having visited India, one of the worlds fastest growing economies, before. Brown, who arrives in New Delhi on Thursday, was scheduled to hold talks with India's finance minister, P Chidambaram, and the two leaders were to launch the Indo-British Economic & Financial Dialogue, an initiative aimed at boosting trade and commerce.

Later, Brown was to attend a lunch hosted in his honor by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and have a separate meeting with Sonia Gandhi, leader of India's ruling Congress Party.

On Friday, Brown was schedule to visit India's financial center, Mumbai, where he was expected to hold meetings with banking and industrial leaders. Brown would also visit Yashraj Studio, a leading film production center in Bollywood, India's prolific Hindi movie industry.