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PM: UK wants to be India’s partner of choice
February 18, 2013, 9:29 am

[Getty Images]

David Cameron on a previous visit to India. [Getty Images]

David Cameron, the UK prime minister is on a three day state visit to India with a large business delegation.

The visit follows a similar trade mission by French President Francois Hollande.

This is the prime minister’s second visit to India since his appointment.

The delegation, which includes representatives of over 100 companies, cultural and educational bodies, is the biggest taken abroad by a British prime minister and includes four ministers and nine lawmakers.

Mr Cameron described India as a key strategic partner in what he has called a “Global Race”.

The eurozone crisis is prompting Europe’s debt-stricken states to compete to tap into one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

Mr Cameron has said that he wants to build a special relationship with India.

In his first speech of the trip, he told an Indian audience in Mumbai that India’s rise will be one of the great phenomena of the 21st century and that Britain wants to be their partner of choice.

Among the firms represented on the trip are BP, Rolls-Royce and London’s Underground.

He is also taking 30 small and medium-sized firms.

TATA group, an Indian company that owns car maker Jaguar Land Rover, is now Britain’s biggest employer in the manufacturing sector.

Mr Cameron will meet  Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister as well as President Pranab Mukherjee.

During the visit trade deals will be announced, including cooperation agreements to help India develop its city metro systems.

His office told Reuters those deals would create 500 British jobs and safeguard a further 2,000.

British firms were also winning contracts in India, it said, saying the Intercontinental Hotel Group planned to build 13 new hotels in the next few years.

Source: Agencies