By Daniel Hunter

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will visit India next week on a trade mission to promote London and forge greater economic links with the world's second fastest growing economy.

The Mayor will arrive in India on Sunday (November 25) and is set to visit three of India's major cities in three states - Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai - on a five day promotional trip which is seeking to build on the huge exposure London received this summer.

He will meet with major investors, top business leaders and senior politicians and promote areas of vital interest to London's economy including financial services, infrastructure, transport, higher education, sport, tourism, digital/hi tech and creative industries.

The Mayor will address business audiences at the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Bombay Stock Exchange, the Indian School of Business and Amity University. He will also support trade missions organised by the London Chamber of Commerce and UKTI, the India Scholarship programme for SMEs, and the London Universities International Partnership in India at the same time.

Whilst in India, the Mayor will hand over the Olympic and Paralympic cauldron petals to Indian sporting representatives, illustrating the spirit of international cordiality shown during London's summer of sport. He will also visit Magic Bus, a London-based Indian sports charity.

Boris Johnson will be joined by a delegation of top business leaders representing key sectors such as retail, financial services and construction. The delegation consists of: Tony Pidgley, Chairman of Berkeley Group; Gadhia, Senior Managing Director Blackstone; Charlie Mayfield, Chairman John Lewis Partnership; Alpna Khera, CEO of Serco India; Gerry Grimstone, Chairman Standard Life and TheCityUK.

Also in the Mayor's delegation is Sir Edward Lister, Deputy Mayor for planning; Gordon Innes, CEO London&Partners; David Parfitt, Chair Film London; and David Waboso, Director of Capital Programmes Transport for London. The Mayor’s mission has also been supported by UK Trade & Investment London Region and the Foreign Office.

"2012 has been an extraordinary year for London with the very best of our city witnessed by billions across the world," Boris said.

"I want to exploit that exposure to attract overseas investment into the capital, recognising that in an ever more competitive world, London cannot be complacent. Export markets are increasingly important to our future prosperity and when choosing where to locate and invest in Europe, I want London to be the number one choice.

"The staggering growth of India's economy and its rapid urbanisation presents a massive opportunity for this city. My message over the course of his trip is that 'London loves India'. I'll be banging the drum for the capital and listening hard to ensure we can further strengthen our ties with this great nation."

India is the world's second fastest growing economy, experiencing rapid urbanisation and a growing consumer class. The Indian government has a target to invest £1trillion into infrastructure projects over the next five years. This all presents huge economic opportunities for London, both in attracting investment into the city and exporting goods, services and skills.

For the last three years, India has already been among the top four global investors into London and the country's leading multi-nationals are already major employers in the UK. Tourism between London and India is also rising dramatically, creating economic benefits for both the city and the rest of the UK.

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