London Mayor Sadiq Khan is all set to lead a trade mission to Pakistan and India before the end of this year, a government website reported.
He is expected to meet top business executives, as well as prominent figures of the Indian film industry in a bid to boost the economic and cross-cultural ties of the United Kingdom’s capital.
Khan will visit Mumbai, Amritsar and Delhi, before stopping in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. The visit is the first by the mayor of London to both South Asian rival countries in recent years.
The London mayor will be accompanied by a team of British IT executives, who will meet politicians, investors and entrepreneurs from all over India and Pakistan to strengthen trade links with both countries.
The visit will also seek to boost investment and cultural exchange programmes between London and the sub-continent.
“As someone whose grandparents were born in India, and whose parents moved to London from Pakistan, I feel a deep affinity for the subcontinent,” the mayor said.
“But what excites me most about this trip is that I know it can deliver real benefits for Londoners. Benefits in terms of business and trade, jobs and investment, and in terms of cultural and technological exchange.”
Khan will try to allay fears regarding the Brexit vote, and put the message across that the city of London is still open to those who wish to work, visit or study there.
“I am passionate about showing that my city will always be open to engaging with partners from around the world,” the Mayor said.
The investments of Indian companies in the UK dwarf the contributions of the rest of Europe combined, while bilateral trade between the UK and Pakistan is valued at $2 billion.