Jaitley to represent Indian govt at historic palace reception


London: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will arrive here tomorrow to represent the Indian government at a historic reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II to launch the UK-India Year of Culture 2017.

Bilateral talks with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond are among the ministerial meetings confirmed on his agenda, during which a wide range of issues will be discussed.

The extradition of embattled liquor baron, Vijay Mallya, from the UK to India may be among the topics that come up during the discussions, according to sources in London.

Jaitley will also hold a series of meetings with UK-based investors and CEOs during the five-day visit.

“Arun Jaitley will speak on India’s current economic and financial climate, from the government’s high-profile ‘Make in India’ campaign to its recent, radical demonetisation of Indian currency. This will be the first such speech by the Finance Minister since the presentation of the new Budget,” said the London School of Economics (LSE), where the minister will officially kick off his visit on Saturday with a lecture entitled ‘Transforming India: Vision for the Next Decade’.

On Sunday, February 26, Jaitley will be the chief guest at a reception organised by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), British Council and High Commission of India to celebrate UK India Year of Culture.

Jaitley will then attend the market opening ceremony of the London Stock Exchange on February 27 followed by a round-table with investors, issuers of Masala Bonds and tech experts, among others.

He will then address CEOs and senior business leaders from the India-UK sphere at an event titled “In Conversation with Arun Jaitley” organised by FICCI and UK India Business Council (UKIBC).

“Through a dialogue with James Kynge, Emerging Markets Editor at the ‘Financial Times’, Arun Jaitley will share his views on the investment opportunities in India, how his recent Budget will impact UK businesses, and on the future of the UK-India trade and investment relationship,” UKIBC said.