New British premier makes first foreign visit
British Prime Minister Theresa May and her Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, have held wide-ranging aimed at deepening ties between their countries and boosting trade and investment as the UK gets set to leave the European Union.
May arrived in New Delhi late on Sunday on her first trip outside of Europe since she became prime minister in July. She was accompanied by trade officials and a large business delegation consisting predominantly of small and mediumsized businesses.
Modi hopes to attract British companies to invest in India and urge Britain to ease visa restrictions on Indian business leaders travelling to the UK. Meanwhile, May would like Indian companies to invest in Britain. In recent years, India has emerged as the third-biggest investor in Britain, creating thousands of new jobs as the UK prepares for its EU exit, or Brexit.
According to Britain’s trade office, India is the second-largest international job creator in the country. Indian companies currently employ more than 100,000 people in the UK.
Ahead of talks yesterday, Modi and May inaugurated a technology summit to boost trade in advanced scientific and technology businesses.
“Britain is open for business,” May told delegates at the India-UK Tech Summit, billed as South Asia’s biggest technology conference.
May said she would be “promoting the best of Britain, sending out the message that we are open for business, and making the most of the opportunities offered by Brexit as the world’s foremost champion of free trade”.
Modi said it was “vital that India and the United Kingdom, two countries linked by history, work together to define the knowledge economy of the 21st century”.
More than 65 years after India gained independence from British colonial rule, some of Britain’s best-known brands are owned by Indian companies, including iconic names such as Jaguar and Land Rover cars and Tetley Tea.
MEETING: Theresa May with Narendra Modi yesterday