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Khan to visit India, Pakistan to promote business

26th Oct 2017
Khan to visit India, Pakistan to promote business

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Photographer: Ray Tang/AA

Ahmed J Versi

 

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will be visiting India and Pakistan to promote UK trade. The date of the visit has not yet been fixed.

Speaking to ethnic media on October 10 in City Hall, Khan said he will tell India and Pakistan that the UK is open for business despite Brexit. “People of India and Pakistan think because we are leaving the EU we will be closed for business. Nothing has changed. Key messages will be that London continues to welcome people from across the world to work, study or visit,” he said.

Khan added that the trip is also a confidence building trip and strengthening economic and cultural ties with London. His ‘London is Open’ will be the theme of his visit.

The Mayor will emphasise that London “remains the world’s number-one destination for business, investment, talent and ideas.”

The other issue that Khan will say London can work with Indi and Pakistan is “tackling some of the biggest challenges we all face, such as air pollution and climate change.”

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

Bilateral trade between the UK and Pakistan is valued at £2bn, and in 2015 five Pakistani companies were listed on the London Stock Exchange with a combined market value of £10bn.

On difficulties faced by Indian and Pakistani students to get visas to study in the UK,  ​Khan said he will be asking the Prime Minister, Theresa May, to change the immigration rules. “It’s time for us to stand up and make the case for the freedom of movement of people and the benefits it has brought to our economy… Of course, we need a robust, managed immigration system and secure borders. This goes without saying.

“But we also need a system that makes it easier – not harder – to bring in the people from around the world who can help grow our prosperity and create more wealth, jobs and opportunities… Immigration brings new skills and innovation to our shores.”

Khan will visit six cities in six days – Mumbai, Delhi, Amritsar in India and then to Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi in Pakistan. He is the first major British politician to embark on a trade mission to both countries in recent times.

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