Easier UK visas requested for Indian businessmen and students

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India's Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai met with his UK counterpart, Simon Fraser, last week asking for the UK to ease visa requirements for businessmen, entrepreneurs, and students. Foreign Secretaries, are senior Government ministers dealing with foreign affairs; Known in most Countries as Foreign Ministers.

The two Foreign Secretaries discussed various aspects of bilateral relations, including economic ties, visas and consular issues. Mathai also told Fraser that India would like to see greater investments coming in from the UK. Currently, the UK is the fourth largest investor in India and India is the third largest investor in the UK with over 700 Indian companies operating in the UK.

The hope is that if UK visa requirements were eased for Indian businessmen and students, it would increase investment between the two countries. According to officials, the two sides acknowledged the importance of their economic relationship, noting that despite the global economic slowdown, India and UK trade was growing.

According to recent figures, India-UK trade exceeded USD$16 billion (£10.3 billion) in 2011-12 compared to $12.5 billion (£8 billion) in the previous financial year.

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