London is Open

Mayor to lead historic trade mission to India and Pakistan

01 December 2017

Sadiq Khan will tomorrow become the first Mayor of London to lead a trade mission to both India and Pakistan, as he departs on a visit to strengthen ties with the two countries.

A packed itinerary will see the Mayor take in six cities in six days, meeting senior politicians, regional governors and business leaders from across the subcontinent, with a focus on building new business and trade links with London.

“I want to strengthen the links that exist between London and the great cities of India and Pakistan. I know there is a huge amount we can learn from each other and that there is scope for even greater collaboration,” Sadiq said.

“I will also remind everyone I meet that London will always be a city full of opportunity and one that embraces people of different, nationalities, faiths and backgrounds,” he said. “And that as the Mayor of London I am doing everything within my power to make London as warm, welcoming and accessible to Indian and Pakistani students, business people and entrepreneurs as possible.”

The Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, will accompany Sadiq on the trip, while a delegation from the Mayor’s International Business Programme will join the Mayor on his stop in India’s commercial capital Mumbai.

The trip will see the Mayor take in the major South Asian cities of Amritsar, Delhi, Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, as well as becoming the first British politician in recent history to cross the India-Pakistan border.

Between 2005 and 2016 the UK was the second-largest destination for Indian investment and 44 per cent of the fastest-growing Indian companies now have a base in London.

This year, the UK and India have celebrated a bilateral year of cultural exchange with a major programme of events and activities in India organised by the British Council, and a similar programme in the UK organised by the Government of India.

Meanwhile, with a national population of 207 million and a rapidly growing middle class, Pakistan offers huge opportunities for investors, with more than 100 British businesses currently doing business in the country.

To mark the 70th Independence Anniversary of Pakistan, the Pakistan High Commission in London have commissioned ‘Emerging Pakistan’, a year-long campaign that showcases Pakistani culture, its landscape and people.