British deputy PM to meet India's Modi in trade trip

Posted at 08/25/14 7:45 AM

LONDON - Britain's deputy prime minister Nick Clegg begins a trade mission to India on Monday, where he will meet the country's prime minister Narendra Modi in a bid to strengthen economic ties.

The three-day visit by a 40-strong delegation is the latest in a series of similar trips by David Cameron's government, which is keen to foster closer links with the world's largest democracy.

Clegg's office said the trip will "take advantage of the opportunities presented by the new Indian government's focus on economic growth" since Modi swept to a landslide victory on a platform of economic reform in May.

British retail, aerospace and education businesses are expected to sign deals and explore opportunities with Indian counterparts during the trip.

Clegg will meet with Modi and finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday, while energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey will look for opportunities for companies and ways to collaborate on energy.

"Prime Minister Modi has been very clear that his absolute priority is to get the wheels of the Indian economy moving, to create more jobs, boost trade and pursue greater prosperity," Clegg said in a statement.

"In addition, there are the historic cultural links. The rich tapestry of British community, business, cultural and sporting life is hugely enriched by our links with India...I look forward to seeing how we can forge even deeper and stronger bonds between our people."