GANDHINAGAR: Britain's secretary of state for energy and climate change Edward Devey today met Gujarat Chief Minister Anandi Patel here and said that a deputy high commissioner's office will be set up in Ahmedabad.
"Devey informed the Chief Minister that Britain will start a full-fledged deputy high commissioner's office in Ahmedabad with a view to strengthen the relationship between Gujarat and Britain," a state government release said.
"Devey has shown interest in knowing about Gujarat's novel initiatives for energy reforms and energy security," the release added.
Chief Minister Patel expressed keenness in Britain joining hands with the state in the agriculture and climate change sectors, to which she received positive response, it said.
She told him that Gujarat was the first Indian state to start a separate department for issues related to the climate change. Patel also invited Devey to take part in Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit in 2015 with a British delegation.
Later, addressing students of IIM-A, Devey said, "Affection and the bonds between the UK and India are as much personal as they are political... Gujarat matters to the UK politically. In fact, UK is home to 6,00,000 citizens of Gujarati origin. I have many voters in my constituency who consider themselves British Gujaratis."
"In the UK, like here, Gujaratis are drivers of economic growth. With entrepreneurship and excellence across countless fields.
"Above all, Gujarat matters to the UK because Gujarat matters to India. Gujarat is a driver of growth and prosperity, learning and culture for all India. And you must be proud that the new Government in Delhi is publicly following the 'Gujarat Model' of growth," he said. "Vibrant Gujarat has become a byword for attracting investment: it's a powerful symbol of the success of Gujarat. The UK was delighted to be a country partner to the 2013 event and we look forward again to partnering Vibrant Gujarat 2015," he said.