A new U.K.-India partnership is blossoming in Kerala, Eric Pickles, British Cabinet Minister for Communities and Local Government, has said.

Mr. Pickles, leading a business delegation from the U.K., was addressing a meeting organised by the Kochi chapter of Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) here on Wednesday.

The infrastructure projects being launched in Kerala offered scope for new partnerships.

Among them are the Kochi Metro Rail, monorail in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikkode, Kochi-Palakkad National Investment and Manufacturing Zone and Vizhinjam International Deepwater Multipurpose Seaport.

The expertise of British companies in designing urban landscape, planning, engineering and architecture could be utilised for the upcoming infrastructure projects in Kerala.

Cochin Shipyard Limited is the first shipyard to deliver a specialist Rolls Royce series of platform supply vessel. HR Wallingford developed the LNG terminal for Petronet LNG Limited in Kochi. “So we are good together. But this is clearly a relationship with room to grow; the priceless thing we find in abundance in Kochi is enterprising energy,” he said.

Mr. Pickles noted that India is one of the largest markets in the world.

He also referred to the inward investment that saw Tata Motors transform iconic British brand Jaguar Land Rover into a runaway success.

The local enterprise partnership representatives should be ready to discuss the modes of partnership building, he said. The British delegation also met panchayat leaders.

Addressing the session, Minister for Public Works V.K. Ebrahim Kunju said Kerala has been witnessing rapid urbanisation. Projects such as monorail, Kerala State Transport project - phase II, flyovers and State highway development offered opportunities for collaboration with U.K.-based companies which employ modern technology.

Mike Nithavrianakis, British Deputy High Commissioner, Chennai, dwelt at length about the ongoing partnerships between India and the U.K., and the prospects of future collaboration.

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