'Deeper participation in the State'

'Deeper participation in the State'

Hyde has worked as part of the British Prime Minister’s Africa Initiative Task Force with policies relating to Africa.  In an interaction with Deccan Herald, Hyde spoke of the British Deputy High Commission’s plans in Karnataka.

Now that the British Trade Office has been upgraded to a Deputy High Commission, what additional responsibilities will the office take on?

The difference is that there will be a deeper participation in the state now culturally and politically. And of course there is a deeper and wider mandate to explore partnership and activities in science.

Bangalore is the aerospace capital and we would like to collaborate in aerospace, integrated communication and technology (ICT) and Biotechnology. You have a large talent pool and produce half a million engineers each year which are having to increasingly rely on.

What will be the nature of outreach events that the commission has planned?

No other foreign country has invested in an outreach programme like this. We will focus on what I call emerging cities like Hubli-Dharwad, Mangalore and Belgaum.

We will focus on community issues, trade, tourism and local governance just to get a comprehensive understanding culturally and politically.

I will be at the legislative session at Belgaum and will meet some of the politicians and leaders.

What aspects of the culture and politics do you intend to focus on?

For example, Mangalore has been in the news over the past year for a number of reasons. India has a communal past, but Karnataka does not.

I have met with religious leaders, political leaders and there is a problem now with alleged attacks on the Christian community and with the increasing communal violence. These issues affect investment and economy and we need to have a deeper understanding.

Will you have any representatives in these emerging cities as you call them?

We are not big enough to have representatives in all the cities. But we have a good size mission to engage strategically.

At the end of the day if we can maintain our market share in Karnataka with so many competitors around, then that’s a success in itself.

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