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UK to issue 4 lakh visas to Indians

High Commissioner to India Michael Arthur said this at the Bangalore IT.In.

india Updated: Oct 27, 2005 03:01 IST

Britain would issue a record number of four lakh multiple entry visas to Indians this year, British High Commissioner to India Michael Arthur said on Wednesday.

Speaking on the sidelines of trade-show Bangalore IT.In, he said Britain has already issued three lakh visas to Indians this year.

"The number of visas given to India is more than the number given to any country in the world," he said. It is an all-time record, the envoy added.

Arthur said the bilateral trade is set to cross $10 billion in the current financial year.

India's exports to the UK have risen by 47 per cent and imports from Britain to India by 31 per cent during the first quarter of this financial year, he said.

"Bilateral relations have never been closer," he told the inaugural function of the four-day IT event, where he is leading a 25-member delegation.

On the outsourcing debate in Britain, Arthur said, "There is no big household name... British company really which hasn't got some form of business critical functions provided by firms in India."

He said so much of outsourcing has gone on that it's gone into the heart of more companies, and Indian companies have become critical to the functioning of British firms who are outsourcing.

While the debate is a sensitive one back home, the British Government fully recognises that if a British company wants to outsource to Bangalore, if that's good business for it, then "we believe that's good for British economy," Arthur said.

First Published: Oct 27, 2005 03:01 IST