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Ian Cheshire joins Cameron on trade trip to India

The British PM will arrive in India today with the largest UK delegation since the sun came down on the Raj in August 1947.

Previous prime ministers, notably Tony Blair, have led large delegations to India before. But Cameron has gone one stage better by taking captains of industry plus six cabinet ministers.There are the obvious big names like John Varley of Barclays and Richard Olver, chairman of BAE. On the ministerial side George Osborne will be heading to India's commercial capital Mumbai. William Hague will accompany Cameron.

There are also some intriguing names. Pat Hewitt, the former Labour trade and industry secretary, is also flying on the prime minister's chartered plane. She is a member of the UK India Business Council.

Why all the bigwigs? The prime minister wants to open a new chapter in Britain's relations with its largest former colony. But the presence shows how the world has moved on since Brits used to pass through Mumbai's gateway to India in the days of the Raj. It is now India's former rulers who are pleading to be taken seriously by one of the world's fastest growing economies.

The business delegation included B&Q and Kingfisher group chief executive officer Ian Cheshire.

Source : The Guardian

27 July 2010
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