'Britain has conducive atmosphere for Indians'

'Britain has conducive atmosphere for Indians'

British Deputy High Commissioner Ian Felton was in Mangalore on Thursday with a message that the Britain is open for business and it wants to be India’s partner of choice.

Felton said Britain has created an atmosphere suitable for Indian businessmen and students.

Speaking to media persons, he said that British High Commission was very much interested to improve the bilateral trade and investment in Karnataka, and particularly in Mangalore. “The bilateral trade has been going on well between India and Britain. The bilateral trade in goods has increased by about 20 per cent last year to about 40 per cent this year. Britain would not only invite Indian companies investing in the UK, but also would like to invest on business in India. Of the 1,200 Indian companies in the European Union, more than 700 exist in the UK,” he said.

Elaborating on the ways in which the Britain is supporting Indian companies to establish base and Indian students to study in the UK, the Deputy High Commissioner said the nation has relaxed visa policies over the last few years. “The students visas were issued flexibly and the UK has not fixed any cap on visas. Though UK intends to reduce the migration rate from India to UK, it has been supporting business transaction and education. Over 57,000 business visitor visas were issued last year. Over 95 per cent of those who applied were successful and about 75 per cent of these visas were processed within five working days, said Felton.

Ian Felton and his team from Bangalore visited Manipal University on Wednesday with an intention to celebrate the successful collaboration between British and Indian centres of excellence. Following the visit, Felton said that research is a key focus area for the UK. Converting research output into viable commercial ventures is important .Talking of the existing collaborations, Felton said that some of these collaborations came into existence almost a decade ago, while some partnerships were new. "The UK produces the highest number of science, mathematics and computing graduates annually in the EU, and the highest number of ICT graduates. ICT in the UK is a £140 billion market and the UK is Europe's leading market for software and IT services," he said.

Manipal University Pro Vice Chancellor Dr H Vinod Bhat was present.