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Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry

December 15, 2006

India, London partners in globalisation, says city's Mayor Ken Livingstone

Emphasising the rapid economic progress India is making, the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, has announced that the business theme of the city's 2007 programme will be 'India, London -- Partners in Globalisation'.

"India's rapidly expanding companies are seeking to globalise themselves. London is the world's most global city. Both, therefore, have a vital interest in strengthening their links," Livingstone said at the annual India Business Reception he hosted at the historic Somerset House at the Embankment on December 6.

The Mayor announced that he would be opening two Mayor offices in India -- one in New Delhi and one in Mumbai -- next year and he would personally visit the two cities late 2007.

India already has the second-largest number of Foreign Direct Investment projects in London, next only to the U.S. (See report on page 4)

"India is not only one of the world's most important and rapidly-growing economies -- it is a rising superpower. It also has one of the world's most important cultures. London, where 300 languages are spoken, is the most multicultural city in the world and within it those of Indian origin are the single-largest minority. With the arrival of more and more Indian companies, India's cultural impact on London is only going to increase further, " Livingstone said.

High Commissioner Kamalesh Sharma, who was the Guest of Honour at the event, said India and U.K. have become "mutually reliant" partners in the 21st century. He said about 500 Indian companies have so far established their offices in the U.K.


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Ratan Tata receives award for responsible capitalism

Ratan Tata, the Chairman of Tata Group, received the 'FIRST Award for Responsible Capitalism' from Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, at Marlborough House, London, on December 3. The event was attended by over 250 prominent business leaders, Parliamentarians and diplomats. Ratan Tata becomes the eighth head of an international corporation to receive the award.

In awarding Tata, Lord Woolf, former Lord Chief Justice and chair of the judging panel, said: "Mr. Ratan Tata has demonstrated how it is possible to combine being an extremely successful leader of highly innovative companies with social responsibility and concern for the environment and the well-being of the local communities in which those companies operate around the globe. He receives the award at a particularly appropriate moment in the relations between the United Kingdom and India."


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I.G. Patel Chair at the LSE

A new Chair in the memory of former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor I.G. Patel will be created at the London School of Economics and Political Science. And Nicholas Stern, Second Permanent Secretary of the U.K. Treasury, will be the first holder of the Chair and will head a new India Observatory in LSE's Asia Research Centre. The appointment was announced by Howard Davies, director, LSE, at its third Asia Forum in New Delhi. "The new chair is dedicated to Patel, who was also the ninth director of London School of Economics between 1984 and 1990. Patel passed away last year and the forum is dedicated to him," Davies said.

The chair is supported by the RBI and the State Bank of India.



Food Oscar for Indian restaurant

A newly-opened Indian restaurant in London has won the prestigious Food Oscar for having the best wine list in the British capital.

Tamarai restaurant at Covent Garden, operated by Old World Hospitality that runs Habitat World in New Delhi as also the Chor Bizarre chain of restaurants, won the award by The Independent newspaper.

Its list of 150 wines has been compiled by Tim Atkin, one of Britain's leading wine writers and internationally recognised expert on the subject. Tamarai has already started hosting Asian events including poetry reading by Meera Syal while artist Satish Gupta painted and a talk by this year's Gandhi International Peace Foundation award recipient Shabana Azmi.



'New Entrant in U.K. Award'

Cranes Software International has won the U.K. Trade and Investment (UKTI) 'New Market Entrant of the Year' award.

"This award is high recognition for the company as it underlines its commitment to reach out to an ever incrementing customer base among the global scientific community," Crane's Asif Khader said.

The UKTI awards were instituted under the aegis of U.K. Trade and Investment. The awards recognise entrepreneurial and innovative talent, acknowledge vigorous bilateral trade and commerce, and the profitable partnership potential which exists between India and U.K.


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Auto sector at 10 mn unit mark

For the first timer ever, the Indian automobile industry produced over 10 million vehicles in a calendar year and the feat was achieved in just 11 months. Growing at 16.82 percent, the industry produced 10,031,886 vehicles till November this year, as against 8,587,131 in all of 2005. The passenger segment, which constituted about 13.6 percent of the total production, clocked 1,100,799 units, growing at 16.38 percent. The production of passenger cars grew by 18.59 percent, while that of multi-utility vehicles grew by 9.24 percent.



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