UK lists focus areas

Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, Feb. 19: British Prime Minister David Cameron today urged India to further open up its financial services sectors such as banking and insurance and offered to participate in the development of industrial townships at a meeting with industry associations here today.

Cameron also pitched for an increased co-operation in education and skill development. A CII official, who was part of the meeting, said he had assured a facilitative visa regime for Indian businessmen and students.

"On education, Cameron emphasised the need to enhance co-operation between British and Indian institutes on skill development. The UK business community is very much interested in Indian defence as well," the official said.

He said the British delegation expressed interest in the ambitious Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor project, adding that both the sides agreed to remove hurdles to boost trade and investment.

"Issues such as collaboration in defence, including co-production, technology transfer, opening up of the financial sector and co-operation among small and medium enterprises were discussed in detail," the official said.

Besides CEOs of several companies, Ficci president Naina Lal Kidwai and CII president Adi Godrej were present at the meeting.

Commerce minister Anand Sharma said, "Britain has shown keen interest to work with India for the establishment of National Manufacturing Investment Zones or the industrial townships."

Two of these zones will come up along the proposed Bangalore-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, which will be linked to the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor.