By Claire West

Secretary of State for Business and President of the Board of Trade, Vince Cable and Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts today arrived in Bangalore, India as part of a Government delegation promoting trade and business links between the UK and India.

During the two day visit the two Ministers will travel across the country to highlight the potential economic benefits for both countries of stronger business ties. It is hoped that a series of agreements and formal partnerships will be concluded that could help to boost growth for both nations.

The delegation to India is being led by the Prime Minister. Dr. Cable and Mr. Willetts will also be joined by a team of Cabinet ministers, senior British business representatives, leading academics and sporting figures.

Trade and investment, higher education, science, infrastructure projects and the creative industries will be high on the agenda as the two business ministers meet their counterparts in the Indian Government, influential Indian business figures and academics.

Speaking about the visit Dr. Cable said:

“This is the first significant business delegation the new Government has sent overseas. That’s a reflection of the importance we place on India as an economic partner.

“The trade and investment relationship our two countries already have is good — but the Government has much higher ambitions and during this visit we want to lay the foundations for a stronger, more successful relationship.

“The potential benefits are numerous for both India and ourselves and of course this is not just limited to trade. This is also about two-way investment opportunities, learning from one other on higher education and science policy and strengthening the cultural and economic ties between us.”

Mr. Willetts, speaking about the higher education and science relationship with India, said:

“We have a long standing relationship with India and we are committed to broadening and deepening our educational, science and research links. India stands on the brink of an educational revolution - last years Right to Education Act will create demand for six million new teachers and the resources to provide for their professional development.

“Our relationship in science and research has gone from strength to strength, resulting in recent commitments of up to £60 million of joint funded research. We live in a world with challenges which exceed national boundaries, continents or hemispheres so international collaboration in research and development becomes essential.”