Philip Hammond: Trade with India ‘more important than ever’ after Brexit
Britain's relationship with India is "more important than ever" as the country prepares to quit the European Union, according to Philip Hammond.
The Chancellor spoke out ahead of a two-day trade visit to Mumbai and Delhi with Bank of England governor Mark Carney, International Trade minister Mark Garnier and Commercial Secretary to the Treasury Baroness Neville-Rolfe.
The delegation will meet with Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, where they will attend the ninth UK-India Economic and Financial Dialogue – with a series of events of discussions on trade, financial services, and infrastructure.
The Chancellor will also meet a number of senior business figures in the financial technology industry, with a view to fostering closer ties with and investment in the City of London.
The Treasury added that commercial deals worth £1bn, previously agreed by Theresa May on her visit to India in November are set to be signed, involving companies in industries including foreign exchange, banking and biopharmaceutical industries.
Mr Hammond said: “As we prepare to leave the European Union, it is more important than ever that we strengthen our relationship with India, one of the world’s leading economies and one of our oldest friends and allies.”
“Our trade and investment relationship is already strong - the UK has been the largest G20 investor in India during the last 10 years and India is a leading global investor in the UK, creating over 7,000 new jobs last year alone, but there is much more we can do.
“I am looking forward to positive and productive talks with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and his team.”
In a separate visit later in the week, Energy Secretary Greg Clark will meet with ministerial counterparts to “deepen energy cooperation” between the countries.
He said the first India-UK Energy for Growth Dialogue will allow both parties to explore the “immense shared economic opportunities lying ahead”.
“India invests more in the UK than in the rest of the EU combined, while the UK is the biggest G20 investor in India, he said.
“I look forward to discussing how the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy will increase the prospects for shared trade, investment and energy innovation between our two great countries.”