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Updated: October 2, 2012 23:50 IST

‘India, U.K. economies a natural fit’

Special Correspondent
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James Bevan
James Bevan

Neither the Indian economic miracle nor the glory days of the U.K. are over. There is lot more to be achieved together by both the countries, towards meeting their aspirations of growth and development.

This was the message that British High Commissioner to India, Sir James Bevan, sought to convey addressing a gathering of the British Business group here recently.

Stating that he wanted to nail a few myths, he said the Real India, beyond New Delhi, continued to grow at a rate of 10 per cent or more. There, “almost everyone’s standard of living is rising. In the real India, a vast middle-class is growing up, generating more prosperity and helping ensure lasting stability,” he said.

Stating that he did not buy the argument that India was just too tough at present for U.K. business, Sir James Bevan said the potential for U.K. business in India was even greater than what it was now. This was on account of the “natural fit between our two economies and what we offer each other which is not there between most other countries and India.”

Several requirements of India, including investment, infrastructure, manufacturing and defence capabilities could be met by the U.K. In turn, as one of the largest markets in the world, India was important for the U.K. as it wanted to return to strong and sustainable growth. “If the U.K. is going to succeed in export-led growth, it has to succeed here,” he said, adding that inward investment and talent were also sought by the U.K.

While the British government was committed to reducing net migration to the U.K., it was “equally committed to ensuring that the world’s best and brightest still come to the U.K. for the simple reason that it’s in our own self-interest. Many of those best and brightest are Indian,” he said.. “We will continue to welcome all legitimate Indian visitors, students and business people to the UK. We do all we can to offer our visitors the best possible visa service. We aim to issue visas as quickly as possible,” he said.

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