UK minister calls for closer partnership with India

Noting that UK-India ties are undergoing a major transformation amid flourishing trade and business, Britain today sought concrete steps to further strengthen bonds with states like Odisha in their journey towards poverty reduction and prosperity.

"Since 2010 UK-India relationship has undergone an important transformation. Trade links have been strengthened, business and innovation flourishes, extreme poverty continues to fall," said UK Minister Desmond Swayne at the opening of 'Celebrating Partnerships - UK in Odisha' campaign here.

Stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set out a visionary agenda, he said the UK wants to be India's partner of choice on its journey.

There exists several opportunities for UK and Indian companies to hit the 'triple bottom line' of profit, environmental and social impact, Swayne said adding growth in a low income state will mean more market opportunities and partnerships for companies. A better skilled and productive workforce will mean more efficient manufacturing, he said.

Calling for closer Odisha-UK partnership, Swayne said, "Odisha is one of the most vibrant and dynamic states in India. The state government is committed to poverty reduction and we will continue to work together, sharing skills and expertise."

Stating that the UK wants to be Odisha's partner of choice on its development journey towards increased prosperity, he said in November 2012 the UK government announced it would end its programme of financial grant aid to India by the end of 2015.

The new UK-India development partnership will instead be based on technical assistance programmes, focused on sharing skills and expertise, investments in private sector projects focused on helping the poor, and working in partnership with India on global development issues like food security and climate change, the UK minister said.

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