Booming Indo-British business surprises new envoy (With Images)

June 25th, 2008 - 12:30 pm ICT by IANS  

By Dipankar De Sarkar
London, June 25 (IANS) India’s new High Commissioner to Britain, who presented his credentials to the Queen Tuesday, says the sheer scale and intensity of business ties between India and Britain has taken him by surprise. “India’s success story is of course well-known. But the sheer intensity of interest in the Indian economy has surprised me - it has truly exceeded my expectations,” said Shiv Shankar Mukherjee, an unflappable senior diplomat who came to London after helping steer stormy Nepal toward a democratic course.

Mukherjee, who is the 21st Indian High Commissioner since 1947, said almost all of the events he has attended so far have been connected to the Indian economy, but that his tenure will take in many more facets of the bilateral ties.

“I have been struck by the interest shown by British business in the very practical ways in which to get into India,” Mukherjee told IANS.

“It’s a good time to be here.”

Politically, Mukherjee said, relations between India and Britain are “multi-faceted and full of warmth.”

“In general, I don’t believe in facile classification that in the UK it is the Labour Party which is traditionally friendly to India. These are myths - politics are not based on the party in power,” Mukherjee added.

“Our relations are about much more than business - they are also about international policies of trade and the reform of international institutions. The UK today is an important partner in our global involvement.

“We have strong historical ties, we understand each other well and we are both democracies,” the Indian envoy said.

“We share a common view.”

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