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Committed to UK-India strategic relationship: Cable

June 30, 2011 11:44 IST

Britain is strongly committed to building a strategic relationship with India, which has transformed considerably over the last decade, Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has said.

Noting that India has registered a growth which is next only to China, Cable said business to business relations with India form a crucial part of UK's strategic ties with the country.

"We are strongly committed to build a strategic relationship. It is happening at various levels including business to business," Cable, who was Guest of Honour at a reception hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry at Lancaster House here said. India's High Commissioner to the UK Nalin Surie, G P Hinduja, President of the Hinduja Group, Lord Navnit Dholakia, Lord Raj Loomba were among those who attended the reception.

Noting that India has changed considerably during the last one decade, Cable pointed out that at present Britain's largest manufacturing company is owned by the Tatas.

He said besides high growth, the mobile phone subscribers in the country have crossed 600 million.

"This is happening when the businessworld elsewhere is struggling to catch up," he said. Expressing confidence that India would make further progress in the next one year, Cable said.

"I hope, I will still be here, to see India expand further". The reception was hosted by B Muthuraman, President, Confederation of Indian Industry to meet members of CII CEOs' delegation.

Earlier in the day, CII in partnership with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and University College London (UCL) held a day-long conference on "UK-India: Next steps towards greater Partnerships" at the University College London.

The last 12 months have seen a number of new initiatives being taken to strengthen bilateral trade and investment relations between the UK and India, all meant to take the relationship to new heights, it was noted.

One of the key areas identified for cooperation is manufacturing technology and innovations. India's growth demands continuous innovation and use of new technology to maintain the competitive edge.

UK's expertise in innovations and research can satisfy this demand and create a win-win situation for both. The conference discussed Partnerships and the Next Steps required to reach the "Special relationship" and skills in Manufacturing.

H S Rao in London
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