Britain to invest over 1 mn pounds in India-wide centres

Britain to invest over 1 mn pounds in India-wide centres London: The UK Friday announced plans to invest over 1.1 million pounds in a new pan-India network of British Business Centres, weeks after Prime Minister David Cameron visited the country.

The first centre will be set up in New Delhi later this year, followed by Mumbai soon after with the ultimate aim of establishing up to six such facilities across the country by 2017.

They form part of a global initiative to strengthen British business networks in 20 overseas markets, with the India focus being led by the UK India Business Council (UKIBC).

"I am pleased to announce Friday, that following the Prime Minister?s recent visit to India, we have agreed to support the setting up of a new business-led pan-India network of British business centres led by the UK India Business Council and supported by the British Business Groups (BBG) in India," Lord Stephen Green, UK trade and investment minister, announced at the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and British Chambers International Forum here.

The centres are designed to transform the quantity and quality of support available to British businesses, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), seeking to enter or expand in India.

The move comes close on the heels of Cameron?s second visit to India, accompanied by the largest business delegation ever taken by a British PM to any overseas market.

"I am delighted that the government has asked UKIBC to lead the transformation of business support in India.India's growth is an opportunity, not a threat, for Britain.

The more British businesses that trade, invest and innovate with Indian partners, the more we will create jobs, growth and prosperity at home," said UKIBC chair Patricia Hewitt.

PTI