Mayor bids to woo Indian businesses
Boris Johnson will go on the charm offensive as he seeks to encourage Indian businesses to base their European operations in London.
The mayor wants to get a step ahead of European capitals such as Paris and Frankfurt, as well other leading financial centres such as New York, and sign up Indian businesses to London's Stock Exchange.
Indian markets remain relatively closed, with strict and complex restrictions preventing Indian businesses from setting up bases overseas.
But the London Mayor believes the trend is towards increasingly open markets and is keen to promote London and the wider United Kingdom as a "competitive hub", sources said.
The capital has the right timezone, unfettered access to markets, a highly skilled labour force and a burgeoning retail sector, the mayor will tell Indian business leaders during a speech in Delhi during the third day of his tour of the country.
An aide to Mr Johnson said: "The mayor is determined to bash home the message that London is open for business and is natural home for Indian investment positioned as it is as a major global hub."
The mayor starts with a speech to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, where he will be joined by John Lewis Chairman Charlie Mayfield.
He will then travel to Hyderabad in central India for further talks with business leaders tomorrow night. Mr Johnson believes the London capital, in which 570,000 people of Indian origin live, is a natural fit.
India is already the fourth largest foreign investor in the UK, while London receives eight times more investment than Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.
But he is wary that in a global market, politicians from other European nations will be hovering to snap up the business.