Mayor of London meets Chief Minister of Delhi

26 November 2012

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson met this morning with the Chief Minster of Delhi NCT (National Capital Territory) the Honourable Mrs Sheila Dikshit, for wide ranging talks on issues of mutual interest and co-operation for both cities.


The Mayor was accompanied by the British High Commissioner to India, Sir James Bevan, the Mayor's Chief of Staff Sir Edward Lister, and six members of the London business delegation, who are travelling with the Mayor in India.


The Chief Minister was accompanied by Mr P K Tripathi, Chief Secretary, and several other senior members of her Cabinet. This was the second time the Mayor and the Chief Minister have met.


They first held talks during a private visit by the Mayor to Delhi in 2010. The discussions, at the Chief Minister's office, lasted about an hour, and covered issues related to transport including the Delhi metro and monorail, FDI, retail, the public and private health sector, school standards, water, power and Higher Education.


The Mayor reiterated that London was open for business in relation to Indian students seeking to study in the UK, and stressed they would be "...unambiguously welcome" in the future.


The Mayor and the Chief Minister discussed possible ways of financing Delhi's infrastructure investments of the future through closer co-operation with the City of London and London based financiers.


The Chief Minister also heard submissions from David Waboso, Director of Capital Projects, London Underground; Gerry Grimstone, Chairman of Standard Life; Jitesh Ghadia, Senior Managing Director, The Blackstone Group; and Tony Pidgley, Chairman of the Berkeley Group, in his business delegation.


Mayor Johnson said: "It's always a great pleasure to see the Chief Minister. Over the years she's championed major improvements across Delhi to the benefit of millions of people here. We've enjoyed a busy and fruitful discussion and have been able to share a range of ideas to the benefit of both cities, ideas my team will take forward in further discussions today. In particular London's pre-eminence as a financial centre means it is uniquely placed to support Delhi and indeed India's massive infrastructure improvement plans."


Later today the Mayor and his delegation will meet with Kamal Nath, Minister of Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs, to discuss India's plans for future planning and infrastructure projects.

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.