Industry must match political will to push India-Britain ties: Modi

London, Nov 13 (IANS) After assuring global investors on how welcoming India was as the preferred investment destination, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said it was for industry captains to push bilateral ties with Britain as the political will of the two nations was well established.

“India and the United Kingdom are economically made for each other. This relationship has to be driven by private sector CEOs now,” Modi said on the second-day of his engagements here during his address to the UK-India CEO Forum.

“People of UK and India are easily compatible. This is in itself is a big advantage.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who also addressed the forum meeting, articulated a similar position at the meeting, attended by around 30 chief executives from the two sides. “We both have the political will to take our economic relationship forward,” Cameron said.

The Indian prime minister, who had made a series of statements and oversaw the release of several joint statements with his host and British counterpart on Thursday, said he was particularly keen that the global investment community participates in India’s infrastructure projects.

“We want to develop our railway stations in the public-private partnership mode,” Modi said, adding: “Defence manufacturing is also the backbone of our ‘Make in India’ initiative.”

Modi also said India was looking at the global stage now. “We are confidently, consistently and ceaselessly working to integrate our economy with the world,” he told the meeting, held at Lancaster House, close to Buckingham Palace.

The Indian prime minister also referred to initiatives such as “Make in India” and said a special emphasis was on sprucing up infrastructure, further opening up of the economy to foreign capital, building 50 million new houses by 2022 and generating 175 GW of renewable energy.

“British companies in India will be a win-win partnership for both countries.”

A statement issued after the meetings between the two prime ministers said they looked forward to the first meeting of the reconstituted India-UK CEOs Forum, and had tasked it with advising them on the trade and investment opportunities as also challenges faced by the two sides.

According to an analysis by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the institutional partner from the India-UK CEO Forum, while the cumulative equity investment from Britain to India between January 2003 and August 2015 was $54.35 billion, it was $11.3 billion reciprocally.

On Thursday, deals worth $14.2 billion were signed by the businesses of the two countries.

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