LONDON: Indian industry representatives have called on the UK to examine its visa system to make people to people movement easier for greater economic cooperation between the two countries.
"It is time to review our (India-UK) economic engagement and chart a course for the future ... none of this will be possible without promoting people to people exchange,"
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) president Ajay Sriram, mission leader of this year's annual CEOs delegation to Britain, said.
Sriram, who is also Chairman and Senior Managing Director of DCM Sriram, added: "The UK has effected changes in policy which curb the movement of technical personnel between India and the UK. There is a need to examine ways to enhance the easier transfer of students and technical experts and address these issues on a priority to increase business engagement."
His views were echoed by delegation member Dhruv M Sawhney, Chairman and Managing Director of Triveni Engineering & Industries, which has significant waste-to-energy operations in the UK.
"It is important to separate immigration from Indian business visas and it needs a fresh look, a new working group and a clear road map," he said at at CII's annual conference here Monday.
The UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) representative at the event, Marian Sudbury – director of UKTI's Global Operations, stressed that figures show that 90 per cent of visas applied for by Indians are granted.
"At times it is harder to get rid of a perception. I would like to highlight that the (business visa) rules are relatively straight forward," she said.
Speaking at the conference, Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Ranjan Mathai, said: "The trend of Indian companies listing in London will only increase... growth and job creation will all happen... but rest assured it will all be done the Indian way and not in a way everyone else expects."