Ties with India `huge priority`: Cameron

British PM David Cameron has said that UK was not doing enough to tap the trade and commercial opportunities that existed in countries such as India, Brazil and Russia.

Last Updated: Nov 16, 2010, 13:42 PM IST

London: Terming relations with India as a
`huge foreign policy priority`, Prime Minister David Cameron
has said that Britain was not doing enough to tap the trade
and commercial opportunities that existed in countries such as
India, Brazil and Russia.

Delivering his foreign policy speech at the Lord
Mayor`s banquet at The Guildhall last night, Cameron countered
recent claims that Britain was on an `inevitable path of
decline`, saying the country remained a `great economic
power`.

Mentioning relations with India, he said Britain
traded more with the Netherlands that with Brazil, Russia,
India, China and Turkey combined.

He said: "But this statistic just shows we are not
making nearly enough of the opportunities out there. That`s
why one of the first visits I made as Prime Minister was to
India. It`s the second fastest growing major economy in the
world".

Cameron added: "We already have unique ties of
history, culture, people and language. And extending and
deepening our relations with that country is a huge foreign
policy priority for us".

Noting that Britain`s economy needed urgent attention,
he said that whenever he met foreign leaders, "they do not see
a Britain shuffling apologetically off the world stage".

Cameron said: "On the contrary, they respect our
determination to get our economic house in order so that we
can remain masters of our nation’s destiny. They can see the
immense advantages of doing business with Britain".
He outlined three areas of change in Britain`s foreign
policy.

First, he said, Britain must link its economy up with
the fastest growing parts of the world, "placing our
commercial interest at the heart of our foreign policy".

Second, he said, Britain was taking a more strategic
and hard-headed approach to national security and applying
that to its mission in Afghanistan.

Third, Cameron said Britain was focusing its aid
budget on building security and preventing conflict.

PTI