Date: 20 Dec 2007


London and Delhi sign partnership agreement and tourism memorandum of understanding to promote cities 


Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London today officially announced the opening of ‘The London India Office’ in Delhi to promote business, culture and tourism between the two cities.

He also announced the appointment of Divya Dwivedi, who will be the Mayor’s representative in Delhi. The office will promote London as a place to visit, study and invest and provide Indians with the opportunity to experience what London has to offer.

The Mayor Ken Livingstone said: “India is an economic superpower, with a growth rate of over nine per cent a year. Its tourism industry is also growing rapidly – in 2006, 230,000 Indians came to London, spending £152million overtaking Japan and making them the biggest spenders from the Asian market. Indian students are also flocking to London to study, with numbers doubling from 2,190 in 2001 to 4,320 in 2005. London’s largest minority ethnic community is Indians and 10,000 Indian-owned businesses have based themselves in the UK capital.

“We want more people from India to make London their first choice for visiting, studying or locating a business. This new office in Delhi will show Indians what London has to offer and will provide practical resources to help encourage greater economic and cultural activity.”

The Delhi office will act as a first point of contact with London, providing information and intelligence on what London has to offer to a wide range of existing and potential customers including businesses, consumers, governments and economic development partners. 

Divya Dwivedi said: “This is an exciting new challenge for me and I keenly look forward to representing the Mayor of London’s Office in India. I am firmly convinced about the opportunity that lies ahead of me to function as a keystone in bridging opportunities between London and India. In this position, I hope to successfully promote brand London and develop a mutually beneficial relationship between India and London.”

The office has been planned and created in partnership with the London Development Agency, which promotes business in London for the Mayor, Think London, which promotes foreign direct investment into London, and Visit London, which promotes tourism in the UK capital city. All partners will work together to provide a coordinated service from the office in order to deliver clear and shared messages on London. 

The Mayor opened the new office as part of his official week-long visit to India entitled “London-India: Partners in Globalisation”, to promote London as a destination for business, tourism, studying and creative industries and to strengthen relationships between London and India.


Notes to Editors 

The office will have five main objectives: 

·       To increase the number of Indian companies listing on the London markets. 
·       To raise the number Indian companies setting up their European Headquarters in London. 
·       To increase in the number of Indian tourists visiting London. 
·       To increase in the number of Indian students studying in London. 
·       To help promote the Olympic Games in London in 2012. 


·       Think London is the official foreign direct investment (FDI) agency for London which provides free, confidential and comprehensive advice to help international business locate and expand in London

·       London Higher is the representative 'umbrella' organisation for universities and higher education colleges in London

·       Visit London it is the official tourist organisation for London to promote and market London to leisure and business visitors and advocate quality improvements to tourism infrastructure and services.

·       Film London is an organisation created to sustain, promote and develop London as a major international film-making and film cultural capital. 

·       London 2012 is an organisation responsible for the preparation and staging of the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and direct liaison with the IOC on the Games.



·       India is one of the world’s most rapidly growing economies. Growth last year was 9.2 per cent 

·       India already accounts for the second highest number of inward investment projects into London after the US. 

·       There are approximately 10,000 Indian-owned businesses in London employing 49,000 people.  

·       India’s overseas investment in Europe has multiplied ten times in the past eight years, London accounts for just over 32 per cent of all European investment from India. 

·        Almost half of all London-based Indian businesses that come to London operate in the software industry, with the second-biggest grouping represented by financial and business services.

(Source: Think London)


·       In 2006 visitors to London from India spent more than those from Japan for the first time. Indian visitors spent £152 million last year, up from £107 million a year earlier. Compared to this, Japanese visitors spent a total of £134 million in 2006.

·       India is in London’s top 20 inbound markets with 230,000 visits from India in 2006, up from 166,000 in 2005. 

·       Flight numbers have increased 38% in the last six years with flight routes from India to London being the country’s busiest, with approximately 130 flights a week to and from seven Indian cities.

·       According to World Travel and Tourism Council, India is now poised to be the 2nd fastest growing (8.8%) tourism economy in the world 2005-14 

·       The Indian Government is making strong investments of + $10 billion US in infrastructure – especially airports and tourism infrastructure 

·       The peak travel times for Indian visits to the UK are April-June/July-Sept

·       VFR (visiting friends and family) accounts for 38% of all visits,  Business 32% and Holiday 21%

·       UK visa service boasts the shortest time to taken to get a visa (24 hrs).

·       50% of Indians look, book and travel within 2 weeks. 

(Source: Visit London)


·       It is estimated that London’s international student population contribute approximately £1.5 billion to UK GDP (in the 2005/6 academic year). 

·       Indian student numbers in London have doubled in the last five years from 2,190 in 2001 to 4,320 in 2005. It is estimated that India students contribute £60 million to London’s economy (in the 2005/6 academic year). 

·       The leading course choices for Indian students are in Business and Administrative (32 per cent), followed by Computer Science (18 pe rcent) and Engineering and Technology (16 percent).

·       India represents a large potential student market for London, especially for postgraduate students with 75 percent of Indian students studying postgraduate degrees (MScs and PhDs).  There are also a growing number of collaborative programmes between Indian and London universities.

 (Source: London Higher)


·       It is estimated that Indian productions are worth $28m annually to London. 

·       In 2006, over 40 Indian productions filmed in the capital.

·       The three largest multiplex chains (Odeon, Vue Cinemas and Cineworld) routinely screen Hindi films that appear in the UK’s top 15 film lists. 

·       There are several cinemas in London dedicated to screening Indian films including the Himalaya Palace, Southall; Safarai Cinema, Harrow; Belle-Vue Cinema, Willesden Green; and the Boleyn Cinema, Upton Park. 

·       Hindi film title Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (2006) was the third highest grossing foreign language film at the UK Box Office in 2006. 

·       2. 6 million visits to Hindi films in the UK last year made Hindi films the most popular foreign language film; with Indian films accounting for 16% of all UK releases in total, taking £12.4m at the UK box office.

 (Sources:; Variety International Film Guide; Reuters; PricewaterhouseCoopers 
20 Dec 07.