Mayor and Indian Minister discuss transport challenges
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson today met with the Honourable Kamal Nath, India's Minister of Urban Development, to discuss the shared challenges facing London and India on planning and infrastructure.
The Mayor was accompanied by the British High Commissioner to India Sir James Bevan, and London's Deputy Mayor for Planning Sir Edward Lister, as well as Gordon Innes (Chief Executive London & Partners), Charlie Mayfield (Chairman John Lewis Partnership), Tony Pidgley (Chairman The Berkeley Group PLC), David Waboso (Director Capital Programmes London Underground), Gerry Grimstone (Chairman Standard Life), Jitesh Ghadia (Senior MD, the Blackstone Group), and Alpna Khera (Chief Executive Serco India).
The Minister was accompanied by senior figures from India's planning and infrastructure community.
The Mayor congratulated Minister Nath on India's urban growth over the last two decades, describing the rate of progress as "extraordinary".
He added that India had moved towards rapid urbanisation, and that the fact that so many people live in cities across the globe should be recognised as "a good thing".
The two delegations discussed the development of mass transit systems and the importance of sharing ideas and expertise around planning and urban development, in particular furthering work on the construction of mass transport infrastructure as a means of enhancing urban regeneration.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "We've had a very good discussion about planning, about urbanisation, about regeneration, and about the importance of putting in public transport links before you build housing. I look forward very much to pursuing the process of further engagement with India."
Minister Nath said:"London has very successfully been able to have a lot of regeneration. One of the ideas we are toying with is transitory inter development. London has gone ahead with this. The visit of the Mayor has added momentum on how we can do this. I look forward to greater engagement with the Mayor's Office and London."
The Minister extended an invitation to the Mayor to further progress talks by adding an expert delegation from London to wider discussions being hosted by the Indian Government in early 2013 about urban regeneration.
Notes to editors
The Mayor is on a five day visit to India, accompanied by a delegation of top London business people, to promote London as the destination of choice for investors and international trade. He will be taking part in a series of high-level meetings with Indian business leaders, senior politicians and investors in the key business hubs of Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
The visit is part of a wider series of trips Boris Johnson is planning to key overseas markets in the next 18 months, including China, Brazil and the Middle East. The aim is to attract foreign investment, promote export, create jobs in the capital and build on the huge exposure London received as a result of hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
A Memorandum of Understanding on co-operation on urban regeneration and development was signed between Minister Nath and Business Secretary Vince Cable in September this year.