Millennium Post

London Mayor seeks Indian investment, liberalising insurance

London Mayor seeks Indian investment, liberalising insurance
London Mayor Boris Johnson on on Tuesday sought investments from India, besides asking New Delhi to open more areas like insurance for foreign investors.

Johnson, who is leading a business delegation, said the business and financial city of London provides huge opportunities for Indian businessmen.

‘There is economic complementarity between Britain and India and between London and India. I believe the scope for partnership is limitless. Come to London. This city is open for investments. We are open for trade and investments with India,’ he said.

‘I believe that there could be huge opportunities for India in opening up a bit more in sectors like insurance,’ he said at a Ficci function.

Insurance Bill, that seeks to raise foreign direct investment (FDI) cap in the sector from 26 per cent to 49 per cent figures in the list of official business for the ongoing Winter session of Parliament.

Johnson said businessmen of both the countries can collaborate in sectors like education, film making, medical sciences and infrastructure development.

‘There is still so much which we can do. In every sector, I see a scope for Indian businessmen,’ Johnson said.

Talking about the ongoing negotiations between India and European Union (EU) for a comprehensive free trade agreement, the Mayor said that the pact would be mutually beneficial for both sides.

The India-EU free trade agreement, officially termed as the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA), seeks to sharply reduce tariffs on goods and liberalise services and investments provisions.

The talks, which were started in June 2007, are expected to conclude this year.

On visa issue, Johnson said that London welcomes skilled people from all over the world including India.

‘We welcome talented people who can contribute in the London’s economy. Don’t be put off by some of the media reports. London is open,’ he added.

Speaking on the occasion, UK-based insurance firm Standard Life Chairman Gerry Grimstone said that India should not be ‘scared’ of FDI.

High Commissioner of UK to India James Bevan said that Britain offers best educational institutes and ‘a great place to do business’. Over 70 Indian companies are listed at the London Stock Exchange. Firms like IT-major HCL has presence in London.

The bilateral trade0 between India and the UK stood at USD 16.25 billion in 2011-12.
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