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Updated: May 3, 2012 20:03 IST

‘South India is one of the fastest growing regional economies’

Special Correspondent
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Mike Nithavrianakis, British Deputy High Commissioner. Photo: Special Arrangement.
Mike Nithavrianakis, British Deputy High Commissioner. Photo: Special Arrangement.

Mike Nithavrianakis is the new British Deputy High Commissioner in Southern India.

He succeeds Mike Connor who left India last week after a four-year tenure in the southern region.

Speaking on his new post, Mr. Nithavrianakis said, “It is a huge honour to represent the United Kingdom in southern India and I look forward to visiting the many interesting places in the southern region, which has one of the fastest growing regional economies in India.”

He said that Chennai was considered the capital of India for automotive components and healthcare. Hyderabad was India’s bulk drug capital and Kerala was one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the world.

The large number of British investments across the south was a response to the social and physical infrastructure for which the region is recognised. South India’s stable law and order, high literacy and large pool of skilled labour had always attracted companies wanting to do business in India and an increasing number of Indian companies in this region were investing in the UK across a whole range of sectors, he added.

“The British Council works with State governments, education and training institutions and thousands of young students seeking a quality higher education in the UK or the benefits of world-leading UK expertise and training. We have recently had a very successful business event in Thiruvananthapuram,” he said.

Biggest visa operation

Mr. Nithavrianakis said, “India is the UK’s biggest visa operation world-wide and the busy visa operation in Chennai serves customers from Sri Lanka and across South India. I encourage all customers to use our website www.ukinindia.fco.gov.uk < http://www.ukinindia.fco.gov.uk>.”

“Our Consular team in Chennai provides consular assistance to British nationals visiting or living anywhere in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu or Puducherry. British nationals in this region who seek our assistance are encouraged to log on to www.locate.fco.gov.uk/locateportal < http://www.locate.fco.gov.uk/locateportal> and register on our portal," he added.

Mr. Nithavrianakis served in Athens as the Director of Trade and Investment between 2005 and 2007, and between 2008 and 2009 as the Deputy Head of Mission. He headed policy work on EU issues, economic reporting and promotion of a low-carbon, high-growth global economy.

He said, “We look forward to engaging even more with government, business and civil society in many of these cities, including in key areas such as climate change and energy. We welcome the Government of India’s determination to play a positive role in Copenhagen negotiations. Many State Governments are keen to promote renewable energy, increase forest cover and improve energy efficiency – these are all crucial elements in a low-carbon future.”

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