The Mayor of London earlier this week announced to make a historic visit to both India and Pakistan later this year to promote business, trade and cultural ties between the capital and the two countries.
Sadiq will be on a six-city visit to Mumbai, New Delhi and Amritsar in India and Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad in Pakistan where he will meet senior politicians, business leaders and city chiefs.
The first London mayor to visit the both India and Pakistan has a deep affinity with the subcontinent as his family originates from the region.
Promoting his motto of ‘London is Open’ he said: “I am passionate about showing that my city will always be open to engaging with partners from around the world, and I look forward to strengthening the bonds between London and our friends in India and Pakistan later this year.”
Sadiq wants to strengthen relationships with India as businesses from the country invest more in the UK than the rest of Europe combined and 44 per cent of those have their base in London.
The Deputy Mayor for Business Rajesh Agrawal, who came to Britain 15 years ago from India will be accompanying Sadiq for business and investment, regeneration opportunities, visas and major events.
“This is a really important mission as there are so many areas in which London can work with its counterparts across India and Pakistan. Not only in business but in tackling some of the biggest challenges we all face – such as air pollution and climate change,” Sadiq added.
While international students from India bring in about £130m per annum in London’s economy, UK is Pakistan’s third largest export market and bilateral trade between the two countries is valued at £2bn.
Only two cities in the world provide more investment in Pakistan than the capital and major London businesses operating in the country include Ernst & Young and Standard Chartered.
Key events attended by Sadiq are expected to involve figures from the Pakistani cultural, sporting and financial sectors
This announcement comes soon after both India and Pakistan marked 70 years of independence in August.