Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has provided India a chance to increase its trade with the UK, India’s outgoing High Commissioner to the country Navtej Sarna has said. “There is a mind-shift in the UK government towards India and Britain’s decision to part with the EU has provided India a chance to hike its trade with the UK,” Sarna, who is leaving for Washington as India’s ambassador to the US, said at his farewell dinner here last night.
In his welcome address, G P Hinduja, Co-Chairman of the Hinduja Group, described Sarna’s tenure here as “short and sweet”.
“It is every diplomat’s objective to retire as Ambassador to the US, serve as Foreign Secretary or enter politics. You have all the qualities which are amazing and you have been able to win the hearts of everyone.
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“You have built such a bridge with the British government, its Prime Minister is visiting Delhi in November. You are a change-maker – you came and there was Brexit and you have changed the Prime Minister. You are going to Washington and you will change the President (there),” he said.
India needs investment and the US has liquidity and Britain expertise and historically they know how to deal with India, Hinduja said while asking Sarna to try to bring America, the UK and India “closer”.
India should treat NRI investment on par with Indians’ investment, he said at the event hosted by the NRI Platform headed by Joginder Sanger and attended by Lord Khalid Hameed, Lord Meghnad Desai, Lord Raj Loomba, Lord Suri, Kartar Lalvani, Founder-Chairman of Vitabiotics and leading NRIs Vijay Goel and Prof Nat Puri.
The UK chose to leave the 28-nation European Union 43 years in a historic referendum held on June 23 after an acrimonious campaign.