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British Prime Minister to strenghten Indian ties

New Delhi, Feb 17 () : British Prime Minister Cameron with a high-level delegation of businessmen would arrive tomorrow to increase the trade between two countries.

During the 2010 visit, Britain’s trade deals with India stood at 11.5 billion pounds and hoped to reach $23 billion by 2015. The British Prime Minister will first visit Hindustan Unilever HQ in Mumbai and visit St Xavier School and lay a wreath at the Police memorial. The same day he will meet industry captains and move over to Delhi to meet PM Dr Manmohan Singh to discuss various issues that are causing pinpricks between two countries.

He is expected to take up the IT notice to Shell and Vodafone. Yet another issue is the change in student visa rules that are deterrent to Indians. Tesco supermarket retailer officials are a part of the team. It has a JV by which it plans to expand further. $16.157 billion in 2011-12 trade was done between two countries.

Vice Chancellors of top UK varsities are coming to forge ties in the education sector. Cameron said that his trip would be the biggest 21st century friendship pact.

The Rs 3,600-crore VVIP helicopter scam involving Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland manufactured in South West England was initially a UK firm, later bought by Italian firm. As the Italian court refused to divulge details, the only hope is to get details from UK. UK foreign office has given an interim report. UK has 700 Indian firms doing business with 70 of them listed in the stock exchange.

$17.08 billion, which is about 9 per cent of the total foreign direct investment in India is from UK.

On the diplomatic front, the meeting between UK-Pak-Afghan has ruffled India. It is studying the agreement and Cameron will have to do some explaining on his country ties with Pakistan. The French President Hollande who just left India said that hurdles for investment have to be removed after which his country would invest $1 billion. But hastily added that he was not making a political statement.