Sadiq Khan will be the first London’s mayor to visit both India and Pakistan as he looks to promote closer ties with the subcontinent
London mayor Sadiq Khan will visit India and Pakistan later this year to promote business and cultural ties between the two countries and the British capital.
Khan has announced a six-day tour, visiting Mumbai, Delhi and Amritsar in India before heading to Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi in Pakistan.
“As Mayor, I’ll be leading a historic delegation to India & Pakistan, to promote our business and cultural ties,” Khan said in a tweet.
He is expected to tell business leaders of the subcontinent that London remains open to investment and international students despite the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU).
“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,” he said report The Independent.
The mayor, whose grandparents were born in India before his parents moved to London from Pakistan, said he felt “a deep affinity for the subcontinent”.
“But what excites me most about this trip is that I know it can deliver real benefits for Londoners. Benefits in terms of business and trade, jobs and investment and in terms of cultural and technological exchange”, he added.
Trade between the UK and Pakistan is worth £2bn whilst Indian companies invest more in the UK than they do the rest of Europe combined, according to the mayor’s office.
The mayor’s announcement comes on the 70th anniversary of Pakistan and India’s independence from British rule.