By: Eastern Eye Staff
FOREIGN office minister Alok Sharma is set to lead a British business delegation to the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh this weekend.
Indore, the state capital, is hosting the Global Investors Summit, with Indian and British industry leaders, policy makers, investors and businesses attending this Saturday (22). Britain is a country partner for the summit, which takes place every two years.
Sharma, who leads a group of 26 UK businesses at the event, said: “Madhya Pradesh is one of the fastest growing states in India and a great example of how the UK and India are working together for both of our benefit”.
Britain will help Indore develop as a “Smart City”, one of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s initiatives to use technology for urban development and the benefit of residents and businesses.
Funding from Britain’s Department for International Development (DfID) since 1999 has led to investments in Madhya Pradesh in governance, health and nutrition, rural livelihoods, urban reforms, financial services and civil society support.
Sharma added: “The UK has been a long-term supporter of the state, through aid and other partnerships, and it now has a vibrant economy. The Global Investors Summit will allow us to build and strengthen business links in thriving areas like tourism, rural development and a dynamic manufacturing and industrial sector.”
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office minister is also expected to visit New Delhi where he will meet India’s foreign secretary Jaishankar, defence minister Parrikar and finance minister Arun Jaitley.
Next month, British prime minister Theresa May will be in India on a two-day visit when she will meet Modi as both leaders inaugurate the first India-UK TECH Summit.