India should open financial service sector: London Mayor

Monday, 21 May 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: Lord Mayor of London Alderman John Stuttard urged India Monday to open up its financial services sector to take advantage of the "transparency, benign regulatory environment and financial skills base" available in London.

Stuttard, who took charge of London on November 2006, was in Delhi to attend a conference on 'Relevance of London's Global Financial Experience for India'.

"India and the UK are natural partners. While India is strong in information, communication and technology (ICT) and manufacturing sector, our country is a leader in the area of international financial services," Stuttard said in the conference organised by industry lobby, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

"We need to work together and synergize our expertise to achieve best result," he said, adding that an open economy will help Mumbai becoming an international financial centre.

Stuttard said India currently has 15,000 qualified accountants and the number is too little. "This is too few for an economy of your size and growth. The skills deficit needs to be addressed by opening up the financial service sector to professionals such as accountants and lawyers."

He also urged India to take advantage of the skill base in London in terms of accountants, fund managers, shipbrokers and a host of such professionals. "Emphasis should be given on education in the area of financial services."

Former FICCI president and managing director of Apollo Tyres, Onkar Singh Kanwar urged the visiting industry experts to invest more in India. "We hope to see British companies expand their wings in our country."
Source: IANS
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