HC Deb 13 March 2000 vol 346 c8W
Mr. Gareth R. Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what efforts he is taking to promote increased trade between Britain and the Indian subcontinent; and if he will make a statement. [113654]

Mr. Caborn

This region is important to the United Kingdom, in both trade and investment terms. British Trade International is conducting an enhanced trade promotion campaign for India, reflecting the market potential and the high priority we attach to increasing trade. During a visit to India in January, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State re-launched the Indo-British Partnership, the vehicle for developing our bilateral trade cooperation. He announced a new scheme—the Global Enterprise Initiative, designed to encourage 200 new business partnerships over the next two years. He also set a target for a 20 per cent. increase in bilateral trade, currently worth over £4 billion.

We also devote resource to facilitate UK trade with the other countries of the region, notably Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.