British Prime Minister Gordon Brown visits India for talks
( dpa ) - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown arrived in India Sunday on a two-day state visit aimed at boosting economic ties and enhancing cooperation in a range of areas including education, counter-terrorism and climate change.
Brown, who reached New Delhi after visiting China, was accompanied by a large business delegation and planned to focus on talks to increase trade and investment with India, officials said.
Britain is India's fourth-largest trading partner, accounting for 3.56 per cent of India's foreign trade in 2006-07. Britain is also the largest investor in India, while India is the second-largest investor in Britain, according to official Indian figures.
Brown is scheduled to hold talks with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on Monday.
They are expected to discuss coordination on counter-terrorism measures in the light of attacks on mass transit systems on both countries, as well as strategies to arrest climate change, British and Indian officials said on the eve of the visit.
Myanmar, Pakistan and Afghanistan were expected to figure in the talks along with United Nations reforms, educational tie-ups and possible collaboration on development projects in Africa.
Brown's engagements on Sunday include meetings with women members of self help groups and entrepreneurs and business leaders.
On Monday, he is to be accorded a ceremonial reception followed by meetings with Singh, Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee, leader of the opposition LK Advani and Indian President Pratibha Patil.
A memorandum of understanding on a programme to develop leadership skills at Indian universities in collaboration with British institutions is expected to be signed during Brown's visit.
The British premier is scheduled to be given an honorary degree by Delhi University and is expected to announce plans to train 750,000 English teachers in India.
"A strong bilateral relationship is of priority for both countries, for economic and commercial, historical and foreign policy reasons and the presence of a large community of Indian origin in UK," spokesperson for India's Ministry for External Affairs Navtej Sarna said.
Brown is scheduled to leave for London on Monday night after attending a banquet hosted by the Indian prime minister.