British Trade Office upgraded to Deputy High Commission

Climate change will be a big part of its agenda in the State


British Deputy High Commissioner Richard Hyde welcoming Governor  H R Bhardwaj at the inauguration of new British Deputy High Commission office in  Bangalore on Thursday. Dh Photo

What was formerly known as the British Trade Office has been upgraded to the Deputy High Commission to extend the scope of its activities beyond trade and beyond Bangalore to encompass the whole of Karnataka.

Speaking at the inauguration, the new British Deputy High Commissioner for Bangalore, Richard Hyde, said that this was an indicator of UK’s continued commitment to its “historical relationship” with Bangalore and Karnataka.

“We are proud that the UK recognised the importance of Bangalore long before any other country and invested in a very strong commercial relationship. But the Deputy High Commission will now focus on the whole of the state and not just Bangalore,” Hyde said. He added that the commission will hold an outreach event in Mangalore in October, which will feature local politicians, academicians and cultural icons.

While clarifying that the decision-making for issuing visas will still happen in Chennai, Hyde said that the upgradation is being done with a view to increase partnership in science and technology, and for a deeper participation “culturally and politically”.

He said: “The political economy of Karnataka is of tremendous importance to the wider bilateral relationship. A key part of my role will be to engage with political leaders and commentators of every persuasion in the state.”

Hyde added that climate change and energy were a big part of the commission’s agenda in the State and will promote a ‘Low Carbon High Growth’ economy. He also revealed that he will be responsible for the state of Karnataka from now on and will report to the high commission in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, the Governor remarked that India and the UK are two countries which are united by strong bonds.

“We have inherited the common law and the civil services system from the British and we are friends in many respects,” Bhardwaj said. He added that with the setting up of the Deputy High Commission in Bangalore, the trade ties in IT and BT will become even stronger.

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