London, Feb 6 : After five years as Co-Chairman of
the India-UK Round Table consisting of eminent persons
and mandated to promote bilateral ties, NRI industrialist
Lord Swraj Paul today announced his decision to step
down from the the post noting that bilateral ties
are poised for further consolidation.
"Eight meetings are a lot for a Co-Chairman;
it is time for me to move on," Lord Paul said
in his opening remarks at the eighth meeting of the
Round Table at Bolton Abbey in Yorkshire, adding that
he would relinquish the co-chairmanship after submitting
the conclusions of the current meeting to the Foreign
Secretary Jack Straw.
Lord Paul said India-UK bilateral relations are poised
for further consolidation and the two-way trade is
expected to grow substantially.
"The bilateral relations are poised for further
consolidation and the changing relationship opens
up opportunities for further improvement and ideas."
The two-day meeting assumes significance as it will
be the first meeting of the Round Table since the
Manmohan Singh-led government came to power in Delhi.
The Round Table was established in 2000 by the then
External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh and his British
counterpart Robin Cook at a time when bilateral relations
had reached a low following New Delhi's decision to
go in for nuclear explosions in 1998.
The meeting of the Round Table will basically focus
on further stepping up bilateral trade and investment
and greater cooperation in the fields of education
and culture. PTI