Pune | India is on the verge of the most extraordinary decade of any country in the history of the world in economic terms, United Kingdom Minister of Investment Lord Dominic Johnson said on Friday.
Speaking at the inauguration event of the new British Trade Office in Pune, Lord Johnson said he was excited about the optimism being seen among Indian businesses for investing in the UK.
"I also think there is a huge opportunity for financial services in the UK to act as a capital funnel into India. I think India is on the verge of the most extraordinary decade of any country in history in economic terms," he said.
"But you are going to need capital, lot of liquidity and the one place that can provide that is the United Kingdom as London and other financial services across the UK will act as a very significant funnel in terms of international capital being funnelled from the rest of the world into India," he asserted.
An official release said India remains a priority market for the UK and the minister's visit will help build momentum for the ongoing trade agreement negotiations between the two countries, which saw Round 9 of negotiations kicked off this week.
Asked about the ongoing free trade agreement negotiations, Lord Johnson said he is not involved in them but added "I am excited and think the more trade we do with India, the better".
A release said Lord Johnson met business leaders in Maharashtra's second largest city, including potential and existing UK investors, among them Serum Institute of India, Bharat Forge and Zensar.
Speaking at the inauguration event, Lord Johnson said, "It is fantastic to be in India again and visiting the vibrant city of Pune for opening the British Trade Office, which will act as our signal of our commitment to Maharashtra and India." "From life sciences to AI, now is the time to invest in the UK as we are determined to be the undisputed number one investment destination in Europe. Thank you once again to everyone from the city who manage this office and hoping for many years of successful partnership between us," Lord Johnson added.
The release said the BTO has been in Pune for several years to liaise with the city's multiple business and innovation hubs and has delivered a high return on trade and investment wins in the manufacturing, future mobility and technology spaces and remains the point agency for all UK-India business interests.
"The UK is home to a vibrant Indian diaspora of more than 1.6 million. India is the second largest investor into UK in terms of number of projects and the two countries benefit from a unique 'living bridge' of people, ideas, institutions, arts and culture," informed the release.