India, U.K. confirm trade deals worth “billions of pounds”

India and Britain on Tuesday confirmed trade deals worth billions of pounds following talks between Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne as part of the Economic and Financial Dialogue between the two countries.

“Today's dialogue confirmed billions of pounds of trade deals between British and Indian companies,” Mr. Osborne said at a joint press conference with Mr. Mukherjee.

Mr. Mukherjee described the talks as “constructive” and said India was committed to economic reforms and promoting itself as an investor-friendly destination for foreign businesses.

“A number of steps have been taken to simplify the administrative procedures for taxation, trade and tariff and social transfers — and placing them on the electronic interface so that these are free of discretion and bureaucratic delays.”

Mr. Osborne said more than 3,000 British firms were either investing in or planning to invest in India, underlining the growing commercial ties.

“Britain is now making the largest foreign investment in India. It shows that British companies are competing with the best in the world, despite some sceptical voices, and is good for growth in Britain,” he said, pointing out that last year, Prime Minister David Cameron led “the largest British trade delegation of business leaders and politicians to India.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable said the “enhanced partnership” promised by Britain's ruling coalition when it came to power last year continued to develop. “We have witnessed the real benefits this partnership can bring, and I would like to congratulate the companies who have announced or signed deals.”

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