London wants to be the most preferred destination for Indian companies: Ken Livingstone

November 20th, 2007 - 5:36 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Nov.20 (ANI): London wants to be the most preferred destination for Indian companies looking to expand businesses abroad, Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, said.
Making a case for London as a global city, Livingstone said London, with its multi-cultural labyrinth, matches the US in levels of productivity and competitiveness, is open to immigration and has an open pattern of investment.
A dynamic place, London is the city to invest in, he said while addressing a senior-level business conference on London and India Partners in Globalization What does it take to succeed as a global business?, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Indo-British Partnership (IBP) India in association with Think London, the official foreign direct investment (FDI) agency for the UK capital, here on Tuesday.
On strengthening Londons infrastructure for attracting foreign investment and businesses, Livingstone said London is working overtime to streamline the operations at the various terminals at Heathrow Airport to facilitate a hassle-free entry into the city. He said London is spending GBP10 billion on improving the citys transport system and is also looking at affordable housing for its population.
Stressing on the fact that investment is a two-way street, Livingstone said India accounts for just over 32 percent of all European investments from India. On the other hand the year 2006 saw two billion dollars investment from the UK into India, a jump of 15 percent over the previous year.
Livingstone also spoke about Touchdown London, a start-up service started recently, dedicated to Indian businesses wishing to establish themselves in London. The facility is managed by Think London.
On the increasing globalization of London, Livingstone said: We have recognized that the process of globalization is not reversible. Any nation that promotes protectionism would be doing so at the cost of its economy, which will prove catastrophic in the long term.
In his address, Michael Charlton, Chief Executive, Think London, said the Indian economy is on the fast track to globalization and London provides the right platform for Indian companies keen to capitalize on this globalization process.
He said the US and Indian businesses are the top two sources of new FDI projects into London. The US and Indian businesses feel that to be successful, they must embrace the global marketplace. As a potential overseas base for Indian and US companies that have expanded into Europe, London has performed better across the board than other cities, he pointed out. Businesses feel that London gives them the opportunity to grow faster, get a better return on investment and has the best environment to diversify and develop their business, Charlton said. (ANI)

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