London’s lord mayor takes business delegation to India

April 10th, 2008 - 10:55 am ICT by admin  

London, April 10 (IANS) The lord mayor of London has said India could become the most important partner of the British capital, ahead of leading a 50-strong business delegation to India beginning Friday. “India stands at the centre of the 21st century commercial world and our two nations are already a strategic partnership of equals. But London needs to work closely with what could become our most important partner,” said David Lewis, who represents the interests of the world’s leading international financial services centre.

The lord mayor is the elected head of the City of London Corporation, which provides local government services for London’s financial and commercial centre - the so-called Square Mile - and represents the city abroad.

The position is distinct from that of the mayor of London, who also took a business delegation to India last year.

Lewis and his delegation of over 50 city representatives will be on an 11-day visit as part of a concerted British push to strengthen links in financial services with India, visiting Chennai, Mumbai, Pune and Delhi.

The delegation will meet government and business leaders to encourage widening of contacts on a range of issues, including liberalisation of financial services, investment in and from Britain, and joint London-India working.

Lewis said: “The city wants to be India’s natural partner in financial services - in India or in the UK and Europe.”

London accounts for 34 percent of the global foreign exchange turnover - more than New York and Tokyo combined - and 90 percent of world trade in metals, 23 percent of world aviation insurance, 25 percent of all marine insurance and nearly 50 percent of all ship brokering.

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