Cameron to renew old ties

Written by fe Bureaus | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 29 2010, 04:31am hrs
With an unprecedented mission to India on Wednesday, designed to boost mutual trade and cement ties, British Prime Minister David Cameron will hold delegation-level talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other senior Cabinet ministers in New Delhi on Thursday. There would be a wide range of issues on the table, including invigorating business and cultural & educational ties between the two countries.

Both countries are likely to sign a civil nuclear agreement during the ongoing visit of the British leader who has agreed to lift the ban on the export of nuclear technology and components to India.

British media reported UK companies would now be free to strike deals with Indian companies for products intended for civilian use. The 46-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) of which the UK is a memberhas already given green signal to India to pursue nuclear trade with the rest of the world.

Cameron, who kicked off his two-day official visit to India on Wednesday, has said the purpose of his visit was to relaunch a relationship that was stronger, wider and deeper, and it was time to turn that into reality.

He is heading the largest delegation in recent memory, which includes six Cabinet-level ministers and a team of 58 leaders from UK business, sports, education, arts and culture fraternity. Apart from ministers, there is a huge trade delegation, including representatives from BAE, Rolls-Royce, Standard Chartered Bank, Vodafone, Barclays, Balfour Beatty, British Museum and sports and local bodies.

There will be delegation-level talks between the two Prime Ministers, followed by an interaction with the UK business delegation accompanying Cameron.

Both leaders are expected to announce a new forum of top British and Indian chief executives to explore dismantling regulatory barriers on trade and make recommendations.

The British manufacturers accompanying Cameron are not only looking for export orders but also linking up with local firms in long-term joint venturessomething that would have been unthinkable a generation ago.

On Thursday, there will be a business luncheon, which will be organised by three apex business chambers in India for the delegation.

UK is one of Indias major trading partners. Indias bilateral trade, which was about $3.6 billion equivalent in 2003-04, has since surged to over $12.8 billion last.

Climate change tops priority list

Bangalore: British Prime Minister David Cameron has put climate change high on his priority list and said he would talk to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday about how the two countries can work together to develop and deploy new and renewable energy sources.

He also indicated that he would press for global action on climate change. Getting an international agreement on climate change is now a matter of urgency. Its only fair that those with the longest history of carbon emissions play the biggest part. But it has to be a global effort, he said, referring to the upcoming UN climate talks in Mexico in November.