London: Ahead of a business visit to India, David Woottan, Lord Mayor of the City of London, said New Delhi's liberalisation of guidelines for FDI in retail and aviation sectors gives foreign investors the real hope.
"This visit comes at a time when India is at a crossroads. Recent plans for economic reform, including an opening up of the retail and aviation sectors, give real hope to foreign investors," he said.
Woottan is leading a business delegation to India this week to help strengthen UK's economic links with India. In New Delhi, he plans to meet with senior ministers to discuss ways in which the UK and India can work more effectively together to deliver better outcomes for India's infrastructure development and financial sector reforms.
"But reform is a delicate process. Any reforms should open markets at a speed that allows the economy to develop so that it can provide long-term, lasting benefits for Indian society and the wider economy. We wait to see what the pace of change will be, and what this means for India's business with the UK and the rest of the world," he said.
During his five-day visit between October 6-10, he will have meetings with key policymakers, ministers, regulators and business leaders in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, according to an official release.
"On this visit, I will reinforce the mutual benefits for India and make the City of London's case for real economic reform in India, and reassure policymakers that the UK's commitment to India remains strong," he said.
Wootan will deliver a keynote speech on infrastructure financing at a RICS 'Cities Conference'. He will also speak at a Law Society 'Unlocking Disputes' event on Alternative Dispute Resolution.
"Our companies want to do more business in India and the City of London remains India's natural partner in global finance and business," he said.
The 15-memer strong business delegation includes senior representatives of major legal services firms, infrastructure experts, bankers, and financial and professional services specialists.
In Chennai, he will meet senior government officials to discuss the Tamil Nadu Vision 2023. The visit will conclude in Mumbai where the Lord Mayor will meet with the Reserve Bank of India and a range of key commercial contacts, including Adi Godrej, president of the Confederation of Indian Industry.
"I will argue that greater participation of UK firms can help facilitate economic development because they can introduce new products, services and expertise to the market - enhancing economic growth and supporting the development of domestic companies. We are here for the long term," Woottan said.
On the visit the Lord Mayor will discuss opportunities for increased interaction in areas, including infrastructure financing, financial sector development and regulatory reform and dispute resolution.
First Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012, 17:38