International

Continuity likely in ties with India

David Cameron has demonstrated a personal commitment to building ties with India. Picture from his first visit in 2010. File photo  

>The election of a Conservative government under David Cameron will mark a continuation rather than a fresh start in building ties with India, as both countries have already established a fairly strong relationship, especially on the economic front.

In its party manifesto — the only one to have mentioned India — the Conservative Party promised to support India’s demand for a permanent Security Council seat.

Three visits to India

Mr. Cameron has demonstrated a personal commitment to building ties with India during his last tenure as Prime Minister. He reportedly said that New Delhi was the capital he had visited the most, next only to Brussels (the headquarters of the European Union).

Of the three visits he made, the one in February 2013 was the occasion for the signing of a Joint Statement on the India-United Kingdom Summit — a comprehensive document of bilateral intent in the areas of trade and investment, scientific and educational collaboration, and diplomacy. Mr. Cameron even appointed a senior parliamentarian Priti Patel to take charge of Indian diaspora affairs.

On top of the list of India-related priorities for Mr. Cameron will surely be finding a suitable date for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much delayed visit to the United Kingdom, which remains the only major Western country that Mr. Modi has not visited after becoming Prime Minister.

The U.K. would like to increase its investments in India, which are currently of the order of $22 billion and growing (these are cumulative investments from 2000 to 2015). Bilateral trade has however stalled at the level of $ 15-16 billion.

Business interests

The U.K attracts more Indian investment than the rest of the EU put together. There are 800 Indian-owned businesses in the U.K. which together employ 110,000 people, with the Tatas emerging as the largest employer. In 2013-2014, according to figures provided by the U.K. Trade and Investment, India had 74 Foreign Direct Investments projects in the U.K. India will seek for a friendlier visa policy for students seeking to come to the U.K. for higher education, especially in respect of a relaxation in the post study work visa that will allow students to work in the U.K. for a year or two after graduation.

India will seek for a friendlier visa policy for students seeking to come to the UK for higher education, especially in respect of a relaxation in the post study work visa that will allow students to work in the UK for a year or two after graduation. The costs of higher education skyrocketed under the last coalition government, and there is little prospect of fees coming down. At 19, 750 in 3013-14 Indians were the second largest cohort after the Chinese (87,895)of foreign non-domiciled students in higher education in the UK. The number of Indian students fell by 2,635 over the previous year.



  Seats Vote Share
  331 36.9%
  232 30.4%
  56 4.7%
  8 7.9%
  1 12.6%
  8 0.6%



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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 5:03:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/david-cameron-government-for-continuity-in-ties-with-india/article7188695.ece

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