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Trade with U.K. defied global downturn : PM

London July 2. The bilateral trade between India and the U.K. has ``defied'' the global economic downturn and crossed the 5 billion mark due to closer interaction among the countries in the IT, healthcare and bio-technology sectors, the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, has said.

``The upward trend in trade between our countries has defied the global economic downturn. IT, biotechnology and healthcare offer enormous potential for closer economic interaction,'' Mr. Vajpayee said in a message to the Labour Friends of India on the occasion of the Clement Attlee Lecture here last night.

Stating that Attlee was remembered in India as the leader who presided over the transfer of power to independent India, Mr. Vajpayee said the relations between the two countries had come a long way since.

The success of the Indian diaspora in the political, economic and social life of the United Kingdom have contributed a great deal to strengthening the bilateral relationship.

The British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, said Britain and India shared a global vision and a firm commitment to democratic values.

``Relations between the two countries are increasingly strong and confident. This close partnership has been instrumental in increasing trade, with more than 1,000 joint ventures and a presence of 450 Indian companies in the U.K.,'' he said.

PTI

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