Bilateral trade between the U.K. and India has been declining in 2009-2010, new Deputy High Commissioner of India to the U.K., R. N. Prasad has said.

Mr. Prasad, who was speaking at Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC) Investment and Interactive meet at Bombay Brasserie in London yesterday evening, said the trade between the U.K. and India after a “terrific growth” of 12.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2008-09, has declined since.

“Today U.K. is India’s 7th largest trading partner globally and second in Europe after Germany. However, the picture is no longer rosy as U.K. is no longer India’s largest trading partner. Its share in trade is declining”, he said.

Reduction in foreign direct investment in India is one of the factors in slowed bilateral trade. Mr. Prasad urged U.K. investors to invest more in India.

“India has infrastructure development projects worth half a trillion U.S. dollars in the next five years. Out of that 30 per cent investment is expected from private sources”, he said.

Mr. Prasad said return on FDI in India was among the highest in the world as the country was projected to grow at 9 per cent in the next 2 to 3 decades.

Lord Karan Bilimoria, who was also present at the one-day meet jointly organised by OIFC, CII and the High Commission of India, said there was tremendous scope for investment in India.

Dr. Mohan Kaul, Director-General, the Commonwealth Business Council, U.K., said the King’s College, London was in process of setting up its Campus in Aurangabad in Maharashtra.

Lord Rana said India was having huge opportunities and it was the second major investor in Northern Ireland, after the USA. He said Northern Ireland had already set up six colleges in Chandigarh in India and was now setting up more education projects there.

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