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First Minister’s trade mission to India begins

First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones has touched down in India for the start of a three day trade mission to promote Wales as a place to invest, visit and do business.
Wednesday 11 April 2012

Accompanying him will be a delegation of Welsh business and academic representatives who will aim to raise the profile of Wales. The visit will begin in the capital New Delhi where the First Minister will hold talks with representatives from the Indian Government, host an event to promote Wales as a tourism destination and conduct interviews with the Indian media.

Whilst in New Delhi he will also launch the products of Montagne Jeunesse, a successful South Wales based beauty-product business which specialises in natural beauty products.  

The First Minister will attend a cultural event with the British Council where he will highlight how Cardiff is hosting the 2013 Womex world music showcase, the most important international professional market of world music. The UK High Commissioner and UK Trade & Invest will then brief the First Minister on the trade and business opportunities presented by India.

The trade mission will then move Mumbai, India’s financial and business centre where the First Minister will meet with representatives from Tata Group, owners of Tata Steel Europe, a major employer in Wales.

The Welsh Government will host a business lunch for Indian companies before the First Minister meets with the Chief Minister of Maharashtra state, Prithviraj Chavan. Maharashtra state is the wealthiest in India and has a population thought to be close to 112 million.

The First Minister will also hold interviews with media from the state before attending a reception with the British Deputy High Commissioner in the city. Parts of the trade delegation will then move onto Bangalore, another major commercial city if India.

The First Minister said:

"The bonds between Wales and India are already strong and well established and I am visiting the country to strengthen further our open, positive relationship.

"I am under no illusions that Wales is but one of many nations vying for the attention of India and that is why the Welsh Government wants to continue to build our partnership so we can generate more business, education and cultural links.

"Indian businesses already employ a significant number of people in Wales. From the Tata Steel and Tritech, through to the pharmaceutical companies Wockhardt UK and Bilcare, the Welsh-Indian business relationship is already a reality and I want to see it strengthened.

"Wales has so much to offer India. Top-class education facilities, a highly skilled workforce and excellent opportunities for Indian businesses and investors to set up their European operations here in Wales.  My visit is about how our two nations can work together to mutual benefit and ultimately create jobs."

Recently the Welsh Government reiterated its commitment to developing economic and educational links with India when it announced a further three years funding of £300,000 for the UK India Education Research Initiative (UKIERI). The funding will help Welsh universities, who are committed to working with their Indian counterparts to access funding to support their research, innovation and educational activity in the global economy.

To further promote partnership working the trade mission will include Cardiff, Cardiff Metropolitan, Glyndwr and Bangor universities.



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