India Visit: Cameron Reveals UK Trade Plan
David Cameron has told an audience in Mumbai he will make it easier for businessmen and students to come to Britain - but in return he wants India to tear down barriers to investment from the UK.
He also launched another broadside against aggressive tax avoidance, warning that in return for low tax rates, businesses must be prepared to pay their fair share.
Mr Cameron is keen to drum up business for British firms in India, where he is leading the largest trade mission ever to travel overseas with a prime minister.
On the first day of his visit, the PM has also laid a wreath for police victims of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and found time to tweet a picture of himself playing cricket with local youngsters.
But there is a risk that his trip will be clouded by corruption allegations surrounding the sale of luxury AgustaWestland helicopters to India.
Mr Cameron announced the creation of a new "same-day" visa service for Indian businessmen and said there was "no limit" to the number of Indians allowed to study at UK universities and stay on in graduate-level jobs.
Speaking to workers at the Mumbai headquarters of the Anglo-Dutch Unilever group, Mr Cameron said: "Britain is one of the most open, easy-to-invest-in countries in the world. We are incredibly welcoming.
"I think, in return, we should be having a conversation about opening up the Indian economy, making it easier to do business here, allowing insurance and banking companies to do more foreign direct investment into the Indian economy."
He added: "We are looking with your government at whether we can open up a whole corridor between Mumbai and Bangalore of growing towns and developments, and work and plan that with you."
Mr Cameron is accompanied on his three-day trip by a delegation of more than 100 representatives of major corporations, small businesses and academic institutions, as well as football's Premier League, the London Underground and nine parliamentarians.
He said he may raise the possibility of India buying part British-made Eurofighter Typhoon jets over the French preferred bidder for a £6.4bn contract when he meets the country's prime minister and president tomorrow.
On tax, the PM warned: "I believe in low taxes. Governments should be trying to get their rates of tax down so they are competitive, but then I think it is only fair to ask businesses to pay them.
"The message to business should be, 'If we are cutting this rate of tax down to a good low level, you should be paying that rate of tax, rather than seeking ever more aggressive ways to avoid it'."
Mr Cameron also said the Conservative Party, British business and the judiciary need to do more to get women into senior positions.
He revealed that his wife, Samantha, has pressed him for action on the issue.
He said: "My wife likes to say that if you don't have women in the top places, you are not just missing out on 50% of the talent, you are missing out on a lot more than 50% of the talent - and I think she probably has a point."
The Prime Minister offered a message of support to British employees of helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland, which has been mired in corruption allegations.
He said it was up to the Serious Fraud Office to decide whether it should investigate after the chief executives of AgustaWestland and its parent company were arrested, sparking fears that a £480m deal with India could be affected.
But he told workers at the company's factory in Yeovil, Somerset: "What I am telling people here is that AgustaWestland is an excellent company, with highly-skilled workers who make brilliant helicopters."
what do you think?
Yes, let's get lots of Indians over here, great idea. Perhaps he could put a stop to all the calls I get from Indian call-centres about PPI while he's there.
Whatever else you do Dave, be sure to bow low enough. The Indians like that sort of thing.
Ho please please, please ,creep ,creep ,creep I am sorry I am sorry. YOU DON`T KNOW WHAT YOUR DOING
Oh yes Dave more foreigners over here to take our housing, jobs, and further burden the NHS and of course they will bring their families. What is he thinking stay at home and sort out the mess here.
This is the worst prime minister ever, open his gob for anything, eat some hot chile while you are in India might help to keep the gob shut for a while.
"Mr Cameron also said the Conservative Party, British business and the judiciary need to do more to get women into senior positions" What has this to do with a trade mission to India? If I was a capable and well qualified woman, I would see this suggestion as an insult and sexism. Is Mr Cameron suggesting that women need assistance from rigged promotions, the judiciary and the Conservative party to get on? Is he proposing sexist favouritism toward women candidates in business? In any case, we can hardly look at our TV screens these days without women presenters and women in charge of nearly everything being interviewed and giving their cogent views on a wide array of subjects. So what is he on about in India??
Another forgein jaunt another chance for the Photo Oppurtunity Prime Minister. Tell him were theres camera lens and he will be there hot foot. Calamity believes in PR over substance I bet the Indians get more out of his jaunt than the British.
How much more aid is he going to give them then they can buy up more british companies - pathetic should be over here sorting out the mess Osborne is making not prattling about in jndia
Looks like our Dave's about to hit a potato for 6, Still wont be long before he's had his chips ! . Oh and brilliant idea unlimited places for Indian students do we have digs for 60 million + ?.