George Osborne: Open markets, free and fair trade (Confederation of Indian Industry in Delhi)

Speaking today in a keynote address to the Confederation of Indian Industry in Delhi, the Shadow Chancellor, George Osborne said:

On free and fair trade

“The strong message I will take back home is that our business relationship is not just about Britain investing in India. It’s not even just about India investing in Britain – although that is important too. Our relationship is of two countries investing in each other.

“We can’t take increased world trade for granted. Improved prosperity is not inevitable. We must not only make the case for free and fair trade. We must put in place the policies that achieve it. Too often trade policy is unfairly biased towards the rich. The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy is the most obvious example. US steel tariffs are another. Skewed agreements are precisely the opposite of free and fair trade.

“Free and fair trade means equal partners on a level playing field. Each side benefits from a relationship that they choose to enter. We need to make the case for free and fair trade again and again.

On skills

“I was impressed by IIT Delhi this morning, where 300,000 people compete for the 4,000 places. The University will increase in size by half over the next three years. They are tying in technical with managerial skills.

“They also told us that most of their academic link ups were with Germany, France and the United States. And all their business partnerships were American. Britain is missing out. I want us to take practical steps to build our relationship. Let India and Britain build on our shared interests, so that the leaders of tomorrow can build a shared future.”

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