India should change old regulations, open up economy for easier business: Cameron

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 18, 2013 17:23 hrs

Mumbai: British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday suggested the Indian Government to open up its economy by changing old rules and regulation to make the business easier.

Cameron's trip comes days after a similar trade mission by French President Francois Hollande, underlining how Europe's debt-stricken states are competing to tap into one of the world's fastest-growing economies.

Cameron's delegation, which includes representatives of more than 100 companies, is the biggest taken abroad by a British Prime Minister and includes four ministers and nine members of parliament.

Speaking to workers at Hindustan Unilever Ltd, Cameron said there were huge ties between India and Britain and there was room for a growing partnership.

"Britain's an open economy and we encourage investment, so I think in return, we should be having a conversation, which we will have this week, with the Indian government about opening up the Indian economy," said Cameron.

"There are still many rules and regulations in the Indian economy associated with how you did things in the past, which we think if you change, will make your economy grow faster, will deliver more jobs, more wealth, more prosperity across your country. So, I think it's a good conversation to have, but it goes both ways. We should look at the things we need to do, to take our barriers down, and we hope that your government will do the same," he added.

He said he was proud of the fact that Indian companies like Tata group, the owner Jaguar Land Rover, had such a strong foothold in the British economy, but said he expected a reciprocal arrangement.

"But, India still had outdated rules and regulations", Cameron complained.

Investors have been clamouring for years for India to open up Asia's third-largest economy to more foreign investment, but their entreaties have been resisted by Indian opposition groups worried about potential damage to domestic businesses. 

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