Ministers prepare for India trip

By staff

Britain’s strongest trade delegation to India in recent decades will court one of the world’s strongest emerging economies this week.

Prime minister David Cameron is set to lead a team of ministers, officials and senior business figures to Delhi as Britain seeks to establish an Asian ‘special relationship’.

“Alongside a renewed UK-India economic partnership, we want India to become a special partner in tackling a range of international challenges,” chancellor George Osborne wrote in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

“Our coalition government is profoundly committed to a new special relationship with India – between our governments, our businesses and our peoples.”

He pointed out that India’s economy is growing at three times the speed of Britain’s and could overtake Britain’s in size within 20 years.

The trip will hope to secure a number of deals, including the £500 million sale of Hawk training jets for arms firm BAE.

In the longer-term it will seek to lay the groundwork for a broadening of Britain’s diplomatic posture towards the east.

Foreign secretary William Hague has repeatedly emphasised the need for Britain to engage with emerging economies like India and China instead of relying solely on the US for international leverage.