He also assured Shri Sharma that UK will continue to provide an open investment climate. Mr. Osborne asked Indian government to be more ambitious in retail liberalisation. On India-EU deal, Mr. Osborne said that UK remains a strong advocate of the deal and will provide all help for an early conclusion of the deal.
Mr. Osborne also urged an early and amicable solution to the Vodafone issue. On Doha round, Shri Sharma said that whatever is available on the table represents a fine balance, and that collapse of the Doha Development Round will be catastrophic for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). “We must keep on striving for a balanced outcome,” said Shri Sharma.
The Union Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles Shri Anand Sharma, in a bilateral meeting with the British Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Dr. Vince Cable on July 26, 2012, said that that the bilateral trade and investment between the two nations is getting impacted by difficulties in obtaining visas.
Shri Sharma mentioned that they want to make sure that business visitors/service providers are facilitated to travel to the UK to explore business opportunities and execute business contracts. He highlighted as to how the IT industry, in particular, is getting impacted by such issues as delivery of services is dependent on movement of professionals at short notice.
Shri Sharma impressed upon the UK Government to carefully take into account the gains arising to the UK economy from contributions by the highly skilled workers from India. According to Shri Sharma, any unreasonable cap would affect the productivity of around 700 Indian companies which provide substantial employment in the UK.
Earlier in April 2012, the UK Government had stopped the facility of Post Study Work Visa to Indian and other non-EU students which till now allowed them to work for two years after completion of their graduation/post-graduation.
Shri Sharma also conveyed to Dr. Vince Cable that the negotiations with the EU are underway for a Broad based Trade and Investment agreement (BTIA) in which 14 Rounds having been completed till now. Shri Sharma said that both the sides have engaged intensively to find solutions on outstanding issues which are mutually beneficial and acceptable. He also mentioned that a Ministerial review of the negotiations was held on 26th June, 2012 at Brussels and that both sides are committed to finalising a balanced agreement by 2012.
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