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Published: Mon, November 07, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

British PM arrives in India for key visit


"India-UK trade has suffered in part because services are such a big part of what the UK exports, but strict Indian laws regarding what services can come from overseas have held them back", Hewitt said.

The PM will hold more than two hours of talks with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, as well as meeting business leaders in the capital New Delhi and southern commercial hub Bangalore.

India has struggled for years to strike a free trade deal with the European Union, with officials saying the bloc is a hard partner to deal with because its leaders tend to deliver contradictory messages and often strike a tone they see as moralising.

Sud says that although English is the common tongue, Britain is just not talking India's language right now.

Critics ask why it is being made harder for Indian companies in the United Kingdom to bring in skilled workers from outside the country when India is the third-largest investor in Britain and Indian companies are its largest manufacturing employer. No other country has such comprehensive co-operation with India in this area, which is meant to support Modi's efforts to push India up the world's Ease of Doing Business rankings from its current 130th spot and in turn make it easier for British business to trade and invest in India. India is likely to take up the visa issue with May during the visit.

'Trade deals happen in a context of soft diplomacy and confidence building.

Prime Minister Theresa May was urged Saturday to try to quell the furor sparked by a High Court ruling that she needs parliamentary approval before triggering Britain's exit from the EU.

"Visas are too expensive".

"We expect mobility issues to be raised during the visit", foreign ministry Vikas Swarup told reporters.

While Britain isn't permitted to open negotiations with India over a trade deal until it has formally started proceedings to leave the EU, May will use talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to explore what a post-Brexit relationship might look like, according to a person familiar with her plans.

"Because while others seek to tie our negotiating hands, the government will get on with the job of delivering the decision of the British people". He proposed a close security partnership with India and underlined that Britain, like India, was determined that groups like the Taliban, the Haqqani network, or Lakshar-e-Taiba should not be allowed to launch attacks on Indian and British citizens in India or in Britain. "It is a partnership of potential - and on this visit I intend to harness that potential, rebooting an age-old relationship in this age of opportunity and with that helping to build a better Britain".

The new deals include: a £1.2 million joint venture initiative between the Pandrol Group UK and Rahee Group in India - to set up a state-of the-art manufacturing plant in India, supplying metro and Indian rail projects across the country; a £15 million high-end imaging and diagnostic centre in Chennai to be developed by Lyca Health UK; and a £350 million investment from British start-up, Kloudpad, into high-tech electronics manufacturing in Kochi.

Among representatives of larger firms joining her on the trip are David McMillan, CEO of insurer Aviva, Ivan Menezes, the CEO of drinks firm Diageo and the chairman of Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered, John Peace.

On disembarking from the plane, May was greeted by Indian officials as well as members of the British High Commission, here in New Delhi. the main goal of the British Prime Minister Theresa May's arrival in India on Sunday (November 6) is to begin a state visit aimed at promoting trade between the two countries.

The analyst Jaishankar said May would have to tread carefully, knowing the Indian government would like to see an easing of the restrictions but aware that immigration is now a toxic political issue among British voters. May is also due to pay her respects at the Raj Ghat memorial to Mahatma Gandhi during her stay in New Delhi.

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