The mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced a six-day visit to India and Pakistan later this year in a bit to promote the UK’s capital abroad.
During his time in India, Mr Khan will tour the cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Amritsar, meeting senior politicians, business leaders and city chiefs. According to a statement released by the mayor’s office, the main purpose of the trip is to strengthen economic and cultural ties between these cities and London, with a focus on business and investment opportunities, regeneration opportunities, visas and major events.
The trade mission is due to take place towards the end of 2017 and will also see the mayor travel to Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi in Pakistan. Mr Khan’s grandparents were born in India, while his parents moved to London from Pakistan. Accompanying him will be London’s deputy mayor for business, Rajesh Agrawal.
Mr Khan said: “I feel a deep affinity for the subcontinent, but what excites me most about this trip is that I know it can deliver real benefits for Londoners. Benefits in terms of business and trade, jobs and investment, and in terms of cultural and technological exchange.
“This is a really important mission as there are so many areas in which London can work with its counterparts across India and Pakistan. Not only in business but in tackling some of the biggest challenges we all face – such as air pollution and climate change.
“I am passionate about showing that my city will always be open to engaging with partners from around the world, and I look forward to strengthening the bonds between London and our friends in India and Pakistan later this year.”
According to the mayor’s office, 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.