UK Prime Minister Theresa May will be leading a trade delegation to India next month, as her government seeks new relationships after Britain leaves the European Union. It will be the first time that May would be visiting any country outside Europe after she assumed office of the Prime Minister.
“I’ll be visiting India in early November and I’m pleased to say that I will be taking a trade delegation with me,” May told the House of Commons.
“We’ll be focusing on small and medium-sized enterprises to try to ensure that we boost the relationships between smaller and medium-sized businesses here in the UK with the important Indian market,” she added.
On its part, the government of India hopes to reach a deal with Britain for facilitating short-term visas for Indian students, academicians and businessmen during May’s visit.
“I am hopeful, certain things will happen,” said Acting High Commissioner to the UK Dinesh Patnaik while speaking on the British PM’s visit to India in the first week of November.
“I hope we will have a deal on Britain facilitating short-term visas for students, academicians and businessmen from India and these categories should not be in the migration list,” Patnaik added further.
Noting that May’s visit is important for India, he said “this is her first bilateral visit and India is her first trip outside the continent. UK-India, we have a very very long umbilical relationship.”
“It is an official visit and she will be heading a high-level 160-strong delegation. The trade delegation also assumes importance because of the Brexit scenario… Post-Brexit, they will need it and they want to increase trade outside EU. The discussion will focus on framework of post-Brexit trade deal,” he said.
Patnaik also said that India wants Britain to extend visa concessions given to Chinese to be extended to Indians – 6 months to 2 years visa for 87 pound.
He said many companies here are shifting their jobs to India. In the next 3 to 4 months, about 2,000 jobs are expected to go to India.
Theresa May will also be attending the three-day India-UK Tech Summit to be held in New Delhi starting November 7.