Letwin will meet Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, and Maharasthra CM Devendra Fadnavis

British Minister Oliver Letwin visits India to deepen ties ahead of Modi's UK trip

Archana Venkatraman

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to visit the UK in November this year. But ahead of Modi's planned trip, Oliver Letwin MP, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and a Cabinet Minister, is visiting India to deepen the relationship between the two countries.

Oliver Letwin MP, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and UK Cabinet Minister visits India this week

Letwin's three-day diplomatic trip to India begins today [Monday, July 27]. The first British Cabinet Minister to visit India since the British general elections in May, Letwin will travel to Indian capital Delhi as well as Mumbai. 

During his visit, Letwin will speak to Raghuram Rajan, Governor of RBI; Arundhati Bhattacharya, the Chairman of SBI; Anand Mahindra, MD of Mahindra Group; and Deepak Parekh, the Chairman of HDFC.  Letwin will emphasise the UK Government’s offer of £1bn of export finance credit to support India's infrastructural project needs.

In Mumbai, he will meet Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to discuss how to improve ties between Maharashtra and the UK by developing strategies around ease of doing business, smart cities, financial services, skills and education.

“It is inspiring to see the broad range of engagement between the UK and Maharashtra stretching from business and infrastructure to arts and education. It is particularly good to see the clear focus in Maharashtra on improving the climate for business,” Letwin said 

Welcoming the visit Mr Fadnavis said: “The UK is one of the biggest investors in Maharashtra. It is also a key strategic partner. With offers of funding support for infrastructure to the extensive support on the Ease of Doing Business, we greatly value our partnership with the UK.”

Later, Letwin will attend a reception for business personalities hosted by the British Deputy High Commissioner in Mumbai, Kumar Iyer.

In New Delhi, the UK Minister will call on the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley to discuss financial and economic cooperation between the UK and India and also discuss infrastructure and bilateral cooperation between the UK and India with Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, and clean energy financing with Power Minister, Piyush Goyal. He will also meet the Commerce Secretary, Amitabh Kant to discuss the UK’s support to India in improving the country’s ease of doing business climate. 

The visit is seen as part of UK government's 'GREAT Collaborations' campaign to complement Prime Minister Modi’s vision of 'Make in India'. We look forward to forging a stronger commercial and economic relationship with his Government and to welcoming him to the UK later this year.”

Letwin will also launch a British Council report on Social Entrepreneurship. The report’s preliminary findings suggest how the UK and India can work together to develop social entrepreneurship.

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