INDIA’S new High Commissioner to the UK praised the Indian diaspora as an “asset” for India-UK relations.
High Commissioner Navtej Sarna, pictured, said that although British Indians only constitute 1.8 per cent of the UK’s population, they contribute six per cent to the GDP.
The event, jointly hosted by Indo-British All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) and the APPG for the Commonwealth, was held to welcome Sarna to his UK posting earlier this year.”India and the UK are a part of one big family which is the Commonwealth and it is the Commonwealth values of democracy, rule of law and freedom of speech that binds us all together,” said the High Commissioner.
He briefed the Lords and MPs on major developments in India-UK ties, including the outcomes of the successful visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UK in November 2015.
The High Commissioner urged the British parliamentarians to visit India to see first-hand and understand India in the larger context of the potential of the growing India-UK relations.
He also encouraged the audience to become more associated with the Nehru Centre, the cultural wing of the Indian High Commission in London, with a view to raising the level of intellectual activities of the centre.
Virendra Sharma, Chair of Indo-British APPG, and Sir Henry Bellingham, chair of the APPG on Commonwealth, presided over the address at the British Parliament.
Sarna’s address was followed by an interactive session on varied topics that included visa issues for Indian students coming to the UK to study, Migration Advisory Committee’s recommendations on Tier-2 Intra Company Transfer visas which are expected to hit Indian IT professionals and India’s engagement with the Commonwealth.