Britain, India on course to leading global partnership: British minister

Kolkata, Jan 8 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit has set the British-India relationship on course to become a leading global partnership for both the countries, British Employment Minister Priti Patel said here on Friday.

“Looking to the future, we want a relationship that is about the whole of India and the whole of the UK, not just capitals talking to capitals,” Patel, who is Prime Minister David Cameron’s Indian diaspora champion, said at the Bengal Global Business Summit here.

Refering to West Bengal, she said a large number of British businesses have found new opportunities to bring their world-class products and services to a growing market in the state.

“Others have chosen Kolkata as the base for their India operations. Kolkata-based businesses have increased and diversified their investments in the United Kingdom,” she said.

She said the her government is funding a project where the Future Cities Catapult – Britain’s centre of excellence on smart cities – are working with the authorities at the satellite township of develop the township as a smart city.

Hargreaves, a major British mining company has set up their headquarters in Kolkata to look at large mining projects in the country, while OCS, a facilities management company, is rapidly expanding their presence in West Bengal, and now employs more than 900 people.

ACDE Asia, another British company based out of Kolkata and with a manufacturing plant in West Bengal, is emerging as the leading player in the sand and aggregate washing industry and in construction and demolition waste recycling, she said.

Two British water companies, Dryden Aqua and Delagua are providing their innovative technology in West Bengal for arsenic mitigation and water testing.

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