UK -- INDIA'S LARGEST TRADING PARTNER AFTER US
Date : 31 Oct 2001
Location : New Delhi
The United Kingdom (UK) is India's second largest trading partner after the US with an annual bilateral trade of over US $ 5 billion. UK is also India's largest trading partner in Europe, as well as the largest cumulative investor in India, with its total investments in India exceeding US $ 3 billion. This was indicated at a meeting here this morning between the visiting UK Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Mr. Douglas Alexander and Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Minister of State for Commerce & Industry. While expressing satisfaction at the upswing in Indo-UK trade, Shri Rudy has said that non-traditional knowledge based sectors like information technology and biotechnology held great promise for future trade with the UK. In this context, India had now emerged as the 8th largest investor in the UK in terms of number of projects. Mr. Alexander underlined the importance of new technologies such as broad-band technologies which would provide opportunities to overcome geographical barriers.
Shri Rudy drew the attention of the visiting dignitary towards the issue of Visa-Work permit issues in order to promote easier access for Indian professionals coming to work in UK. Both Shri Rudy and Mr. Alexander agreed that the bilateral trade could grow tremendously if the UK could utilise the availability of Indian human resources at competitive terms.
The UK side took note of India's reservations regarding new WTO issues, while urging improved access for products of UK interest in the Indian market. Shri Rudy conveyed India's concern about continued attempt for linkages of environment and social clause with multilateral trade. The Minister appreciated various India-EU economic cooperation programmes being implemented in India and hoped that these programmes would go a long way in furthering the Indo-EU economic cooperation as also further strengthening of Indo-UK trade and commercial ties.