UK business delegation to visit Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, May 30 (IANS) A business delegation from Britain will be in Kerala next month to explore partnerships in local government and urban development.

The delegation is being led by Eric Pickles, MP and British cabinet minister for communities and local government. The two-day trip to Kochi will begin June 4.

In a press release, the British High Commission office in Chennai said Pickles will meet Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and senior representatives of the Kerala government.

Ahead of the visit, Pickles said he would be introducing the best of British companies to Kerala.

"They not only have world class expertise in big construction projects and urban renewal, but know how to bring economic growth to different parts of a country," said Pickles.

"As an advocate of localism, I am delighted to be visiting Kerala, which is globally renowned as a pioneer in successful local self-government. I look forward to sharing the UK experience of local government and to learning about the successes in Kerala," the minister said.

Mike Nithavrianakis, British Deputy High Commissioner at Chennai, said the visit is expected to strengthen his country's partnership with Kerala.

"The range of UK business engagement in Kerala is growing. Some are already in ICT, food, drink, education and training and project management. We hope that the visit next week will see the presence of more UK firms in the crucial infrastructure sector," said the British diplomat.

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