London no more an old boys’ club: Prince Andrew

March 11th, 2008 - 10:19 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, March 11 (IANS) “The city of London is no more an old boys’ club,” Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, told a gathering of the industrial captains in an exclusive meet here Tuesday. “You will not see that symbol of the old, the bowler hat, anywhere in London these days,” Andrew said.

The luncheon meet hosted by the managing director and chief executive officer of ICICI Bank, K.V. Kamath, for the Duke of York, away from the media glare, witnessed an exchange of ideas.

Addressing the meet, Prince Andrew, who is in Mumbai as representative for International Trade and Investment, said that since his last visit two years ago “the trade between our two countries went from 7.92 billion pounds (nearly $16 billion) to 8.74 billion pounds (above $17.5 billion), an increase of over 10 percent”.

This, he reasoned, was because “India is a young nation. New business start-ups are finding new ways of accessing capital and venture capital will be a key source of funds.

“In January, our prime minister during his visit to Delhi launched Business Angels Venture Capital Network so that there can be greater exchanges between the emerging entrepreneurs in both United Kingdom and India.”

Though “over 50 percent of all Indian investment into the European Union comes through the UK, but then there is still a need for an increased interaction between lawyers, accountants and bankers from countries. Both sides should not see each other as rivals but as partners who can foster each other’s growth,” he pointed out.

Talking about the long relationship between the two countries, and the further tightening of the century old bond, the Duke of York informed the gathering that Lord Mayor of London will be paying a visit to India to promote and foster healthy trade relationship between the two countries.

Speaking on the occasion, ICICI chief Kamath said the openness of doing business in Britain has made it a model for all ICICI’s other operations overseas.

He said that ICICI has a variety of fast growing businesses in Britain and that he expected them to grow even faster over the next few years.

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