London Mayor to visit India, Pakistan to boost trade ties
London [UK], Oct 11 : London Mayor Sadiq Khan will lead a trade mission to India and Pakistan later this year, wherein he would be meeting top business figures from the IT industry to Bollywood with a view to boost economic and cultural ties.The visit will be the first visit by a British politician to both the countries in recent times.
During his visit, Sadiq will visit Mumbai, Delhi and Amritsar in India before going on to Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi in Pakistan.
Sadiq will be accompanied by a delegation of UK business leaders and will meet with politicians, investors and entrepreneurs from across South Asia on the trip, which is aimed at strengthening trade and investment links as well as promoting cultural exchange, said an official press release.
"As someone whose grandparents were born in India, and whose parents moved to London from Pakistan, I feel a deep affinity for the subcontinent," the Mayor said.
"But what excites me most about this trip is that I know it can deliver real benefits for Londoners. Benefits in terms of business and trade, jobs and investment, and in terms of cultural and technological exchange," he added.
Indian companies invest more in the UK than in the rest of Europe combined, employing some 110,000 people in the country, while bilateral trade between the UK and Pakistan is valued at £2 billion.
Students from India contribute £130m a year to London's economy.
"I am passionate about showing that my city will always be open to engaging with partners from around the world," Sadiq said.
The visit will focus on spreading the message that London is open to those looking to work, visit or study following the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum or the EU referendum, also known as the Brexit referendum.
The referendum resulted in 51.9% of voters voting in favour of leaving the EU. The government initiated the official EU withdrawal process on 29 March 2017, which put the UK on course to complete the withdrawal process by 30 March 2019.