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India raises visa issues with UK

New Delhi, Jan 21, 2009

India on Tuesday raised the issue of visa problems faced by the Indian industry in the United Kingdom at the India-UK Joint Economic Trade Committee (JETCO) meeting in New Delhi.

"I have raised the issue of visa with the British Secretary of State for Business and Enterprise, Lord Peter certain type of visa sometimes there is a problem. I hope we will see some progress in this," Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said after the meeting in New Delhi.

The visa and work permit problems faced by the industry pertain to duration and extension.

Nath said there is a need for clarity, uniformity and transparency in procedures.

He said there is a potential for trade and investment flows between India and the UK in the areas of manufacturing, financial services, skill development and infrastructure.

"Businesses have a very important role in the JETCO process" Nath said.

He added that the challenging global economic situation required both the countries to look at new ways of enhancing business engagement and creating opportunities.

Stressing that healthcare industry is one of the sectors that can promote trade,Nath said the JETCO group has discussed the issue.

The bilateral trade during 2007-08 stood at 12 billion dollars.

Major items of export to UK during the fiscal were garments, cotton, petroleum, machinery, manufactures of metals, gems and jewellery and transport equipment while imports from the UK included pearls, precious and semi-precious stones, electronic goods, machinery, non-ferrous metals and professional instruments.

The cumulative foreign direct investment inflows during 1991-2008 was 5.03 billion US dollar.