Cameron announces $19 billion in UK-India deals during Modi visit

British PM David Cameron (left) shakes hands with Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in a file photo.
British PM David Cameron (left) shakes hands with Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in a file photo.AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Prime Minister David Cameron said British and Indian companies will announce deals worth a total of £9 billion (S$19 billion) during his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi's visit to Britain.

Cameron made the announcement at a joint press conference with Modi at Downing Street, saying that new rupee-denominated bonds would also allow Indian companies to issue debt in London.

"During this visit, British and Indian companies are announcing new collaborations together worth more than £9 billion," Cameron said.

"We want to forge a more ambitious, modern partnership," he added, noting that India has more investments in Britain than in the rest of the European Union combined.

Cameron unveiled plans for £1 billion of rupee-denominated bonds to be traded in London, saying that he wanted Britain to become India's "number one partner" for raising finance.

Asked about an upcoming referendum on Britain's European Union membership, Modi said: "As far as India is concerned, if there is an entry point to the European Union, that is the UK".