Business Secretary Vince Cable will fly to India tonight in a fresh bid to promote British businesses and products in the country.
Mr Cable’s third visit to India follows a trip in 2010 by Prime Minister David Cameron and a delegation of UK business representatives. Mr Cable told the Commons today India was a vital outlet for the country’s economy.
Despite high-profile delegations from the UK, India announced earlier this year it was looking at buying French Rafale jets instead of British-built Typhoons.
Speaking at Business, Innovation and Skills Questions, Mr Cable said: “I’m flying out to India tonight to pursue (inward investment). It’s the third visit since I became Secretary of State.
”I will be making exactly the point that Indian investment in the UK is extremely welcome and we are attracting more.
”The leading Indian companies like Tata and Essar are absolutely valuable to our economic recovery.”
Conservative MP Alok Sharma had asked: “We are rightly hearing a lot about the special and essential relationship between the UK and US this week. But of course one of the other special relationships the UK has is with India.
”Do you agree the growing level of inward investment into UK companies from countries like India clearly demonstrates the success of UKTI (UK Trade and Investment) and its inward investment strategy?”
BAE had been hoping to win a £10 billion contract to build Typhoon jets for the Indian airforce but in February, the Indian government signalled French firm Dassault had put in a better bid for the alternative jets.
The Government has said the final decision has not been made and that it would continue to press the Typhoon case with the Indians.