Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

#Schmooze: Osborne hails 'IMPRESSIVE' Modi as high-profile UK delegation arrives in India

Foreign Secretary William Hague and Chancellor George Osborne arrived in India on Monday for a three day visit that aims to open up new opportunities in a host of business sectors.

The ministers are the first MP's to visit the country since the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May. 

Chancellor Osborne took to his Twitter page to speak of his optimism about working with the development-driven Modi government.

"In Mumbai at 3-day visit with William Hague to meet impressive new Modi gov.  Good days are coming in the British-India relationship", he tweeted

Prime Minister David Cameron has said Britain needs to build on links with India, particularly in the areas of defence and infrastructure, to deal with the large public debts that the UK is weighed down with.

Number 10 is that a stalled deal for India to buy 126 French fighter jets may yet collapse, opening the door to a potentially new arrangement involving the Eurofighter jet, which is partly built in Britain.

The Prime Minister also wants British firms to help India develop new cities and districts along a 1,000 km (600 mile) corridor between Mumbai and Bangalore.

"I believe a stronger relationship with Britain will help deliver the new economic policy of the Indian Government.  Prime Minister Modi is seeking more investment in India's economy - and I want British companies to provide it, and the British Government to support it", Mr Osborne said.

The Chancellor and Mr Hague are expected to visit Mumbai and Delhi, and to hold meetings with Modi as well as with India's finance and foreign ministers and with business leaders.

Mr Osborne also tweeted that he will meet with Raghuram Rajan, governor of India's Central Bank and announced that Indian automotive giant Mahindra would be investing in a multi-million dollar Research and Development facility in Britain with the aim of launching a new electric car next year.

The Chancellor is also expected to announce investments by pharmaceutical company Cipla amounting to more than 100 million pounds.

Meanwhile, Mr Hague will say Britain is increasing the amount of money available for Indian student scholarships and wants to further develop educational links.

A long-running tax dispute involving Vodafone is also expected to be on the agenda.

The visit could have an impact on Britain's political scene.

Cameron is up for re-election next year and his Conservative party is anxious to woo the country's Indian diaspora, which Hague before his trip estimated was 1.5 million-strong.



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