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London Mayor To Charm India On Trade Visit

(c) Sky News 2012

Boris Johnson will seek to emulate David Cameron next week when he seals deals with Indian companies worth tens of millions of pounds to the London economy on his first official trade mission.

The Mayor of London will visit cities including Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi during a five-day visit during which aides say he will "bang the drum for British business".

I understand that Mr Johnson will be accompanied by executives including Jitesh Gadhia, a managing director at Blackstone (NYSE: BX - news) , the buyout firm; Gerry Grimstone, chairman of Standard Life (Other OTC: SLFPF.PK - news) ; Charlie Mayfield, chairman of The John Lewis Partnership; and Tony Pidgley, chairman of Berkeley Group, the house-builder.

The visit will be the first of several planned by Mr Johnson during the next year to key emerging markets as he tries to boost inward investment activity in London.

Mr Cameron has made such trade missions a key element of his foreign travel in an effort to demonstrate that the Government is putting economic growth at the top of its agenda.

Britain's bilateral trade with India has grown significantly in recent years, according to figures published by UK Trade & Investment, the trade promotion agency, although the pace of growth continues to lag behind that of some European countries.

The mayor’s office declined to comment.