UK minister Patel on India visit to tap post-Brexit avenues
India is among Patel’s first major overseas visits within weeks of assuming charge as the UK’s international development minister under the new Theresa May-led government.
“I look at this (Britain’s vote to leave the Europe Union) from a very optimistic point of view and it is very much about the art of the possible. We are entering a golden era effectively,” said Patel on the eve of her visit.
“It is business as usual. If anything, there will be new opportunities when it comes to trade, growing new relationships and taking the economic relationship to a new level,” she said in reference to the message she wanted to convey in India following the EU referendum.
In New Delhi, Patel has meetings scheduled with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy.
She will also be visiting Bhopal, where she will be hosted by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan to review some of the work her Department for International Development (DfID) has been doing on the ground.
The 44-year-old Gujarati-origin minister, who had been one of the most vocal campaigners in favour of Brexit, believes that “strategic partners” like India would have a significant role to play within the new politico-economic order.