Analysis: David Cameron’s UK-India Trade Push

Prime Minister David Cameron Makes Official Visit To India

David Cameron is in India heading up the “largest trade delegation in living memory,” but is it all merely politicking?

The rhetorical hyperbole is in full swing for Prime Minister Cameron’s trip to India. It is not a trade mission, but jobs mission; nay, a glorious endeavor to establish a new and special relationship between the United Kingdom and India. In reality though, the UK has been a little slow on the uptake when it comes to India’s newly rehabilitated nuclear program, which just so happens to be the prized target of Prime Minister Cameron’s trade delegation. Ever since the United States decided to about-face on India’s spurning of the NPT, several other countries have followed suit including France, Canada and now the United Kingdom.

The trip can be viewed as a good way for David Cameron to further develop his personal brand in the British political arena. After all, his conservatives are still in a coalition government with the Lib Dems.

There is however a faint sense that the trip may be motivated by something else; something entirely divorced from matters of trade. Cameron’s comments on Pakistan noticeably mirrored India’s official line, even going so far as to imply that Pakistan is a state exporter of terrorism. Perhaps a decision has been made to ‘play ball’ with India on Pakistan. This would make sense, for India is increasingly seen as an important strategic hedge in Asia against a growing and possibly unpredictable China.

Around the internet

David Cameron published an editorial in India’s The Hindu. Here’s an excerpt:

I have come to your country in a spirit of humility. I know that Britain cannot rely on sentiment and shared history for a place in India’s future. Your country has the whole world beating a path to its door. But I believe Britain should be India’s partner of choice in the years ahead. Starting this week, that is what we are determined to deliver.

The Guardian carried an article which eloquently details the gap between what David Cameron says on Pakistan and what No. 10 actually confirms.

The Telegraph UK did away with noting the ambiguity in Prime Minister Cameron’s comments by using the headline: David Cameron: Pakistan is promoting the ‘export of terror.’

The Telegraph is also reporting that a deal has been signed between Rolls Royce and BAR to supply 57 Hawk trainer aircraft to India.

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