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David Cameron starts mission to boost trade in India

22nd July 2010

PM will take ministers and business leaders to former 'jewel in the crown' of empire next week

David Cameron will take a planeload of cabinet ministers and business leaders to India next Wednesday as he seeks to boost trade links with the former "jewel in the crown" of the British empire.

In the first example of the new focus on trade in foreign policy, the group will meet up in Delhi "in an unprecedented attempt to woo this rising world power", according to the Tory MP Jo Johnson, brother of Boris and a former FT India correspondent.

Cameron has been highly critical of the last government's approach to the so-called Bric emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India and China. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown visited India but failed to create what Cameron is dubbing a "special relationship".

Johnson writes in this week's Spectator: "By dispatching himself and so many of his most senior colleagues to India, and so early on, Cameron is making a clear signal of his intent to revitalise a critical, bilateral relationship – and repair what he regards as a decade of neglect."

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