India and the UK can now look forward to doing more business together after British Prime Minister Theresa May’s recent visit to the country, NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul has said.
Participating in a debate in the House of Lords Thursday on ‘The Impact on the economy and investment of fluctuations in the level of pound sterling’, Paul said, “The Prime Minister’s most recent foreign policy initiative has been a trade mission to India, on which I hear good things and must congratulate her; both countries can now look forward to doing more business together.”
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At the outset, the Chairman of the Caparo Group noted that Brexit and the US Presidential elections have been singled out by commentators as leading to significant fluctuations in the exchange rate over recent weeks.
“We have heard much doom and gloom from survey firms and others, keen for a good story, on the adverse consequences for the British economy that will surely follow. All are now very excited, and this has provided opportunities for the speculators to make money,” Paul said.
Paul felt that the recent events would bring opportunities for business and investment in the UK. “If these are followed through, they will create jobs and generate tax revenues for the greater good,” he said.
Asking the House to ponder over the effects of a weaker pound on higher education, the Chancellor of the Wolverhampton University said, “A weak pound means studying in the UK is cheaper.”
Britain’s international reputation means it is the number one destination for international students and “we can’t afford to lose that status,” he said. “In fact we must strengthen it. Universities are looking to an increase of fee income from overseas students — 4.8 billion pounds in 2018-19 versus present figures of 3.7 billion pounds — and to see growth in home and EU students over ten per cent in the period,” Paul said.
Paul said encouraging more overseas students is at odds with current immigration policy. “So we have to find ways to make sure that they return to their own countries when their studies end. The University of Wolverhampton, where I am Chancellor, is doing all it can to promote these policies,” he said.