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U.K. keen on partnership approach

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BRITISH TEAM: British High Commissioner Michael Arthur (centre), Alan Garwood, Head of Defence Export Services (right), and Air Vice-Marshal Gavin Mackay at a press conference in Bangalore on Tuesday. Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.
BRITISH TEAM: British High Commissioner Michael Arthur (centre), Alan Garwood, Head of Defence Export Services (right), and Air Vice-Marshal Gavin Mackay at a press conference in Bangalore on Tuesday. Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

Special Correspondent

Bangalore: An emphasis on partnership distinguishes the British approach to doing business with India, said British High Commissioner Sir Michael Arthur, citing the example of aerospace firm Rolls-Royce teaming up with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) for research to develop alloys for use in eco-friendly aircraft engines.

Speaking to presspersons here on Tuesday, Sir Michael said the project to make "green" aircraft engines showed Britain's interest in genuine partnership through technology sharing and technology transfer rather than viewing India as a target market alone. The Aero India show, he said, would have 30 U.K. companies participating.

Alan Garwood, head of Defence Export Services in the British Ministry of Defence, said his country was the second largest defence equipment supplier to India, after the U.S. The U.K. had no set target for business during the Aero India show, but was keen on opening its market and partnership potential here, he said.

Said Sir Michael, "Forget the headlines, it is the substance that matters."

Air Vice-Marshal Gavin Mackay said another area of partnership was in Defence training. Forty Indian Air Force pilots were training with the Royal Air Force, and more such ventures were in the offing, he said.

Tim Jones, managing director, Rolls Royce, said his company had a 75-year-long association with India, starting with the first-ever parcel delivery service introduced in India. It had a 50-year association with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), he said.

Speaking about the partnership with the IISc., he said, "We believe in collaboration with local centres of excellence and sharing intellectual property rights and other benefits."

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