Below is the text of Mr Major’s statement at Bangalore Airport on 9th January 1997.
I am delighted, at the invitation of Prime Minister Deve Gowda, to be visiting his home state of Karnataka and its capital, Bangalore.
Karnataka, and Bangalore in particular, have become synonymous with the growth and economic dynamism of the new India. British business is keen and well placed to play a significant part in that growth. Many leading British companies, such as Rolls Royce, British Aerospace, Coats Viyella, Brooke Bond, Lipton India Ltd, to name but a few, are already well established in Karnataka. Others, like Kvaerner John Brown Engineering (India) and Courtaulds Coatings, are more recently arrived. The President of the Board of Trade and a group of some fifty very senior representatives from a wide range of British business are accompanying me. They will be looking for further opportunities to expand the two-way trade between India and Britain that has flourished so successfully under the Indo-British Partnership.
During my visit, I look forward to visiting:
– Hindustan Aeronautics, with whom both Rolls Royce and British Aerospace have a long-standing and successful relationship;
– Kvaerner John Brown Engineering (India), at the cutting edge of computer-driven design engineering;
– Standard Chartered Bank, to inaugurate the Bangalore-based headquarters of their new all-India credit card operation.
I also look forward to meeting representatives of the British charity Action Aid, who celebrate their 25th anniversary this year and have their all-India headquarters in Bangalore. Action Aid are cooperating closely with the Indian associate of the Prince of Wales Young Business Leaders’ Forum in launching a CD-Rom which will make more widely available crucial information on health, education, training and other development issues.
In short, my visit will be an excellent opportunity to identify new business and investment opportunities in Karnataka, which can be developed to the mutual benefit of our two countries.