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The former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has said he is proud to receive recognition for his work to cement relationships between the UK and India. Mr Cameron made the comments as he joined Rajesh Agrawal, Entrepreneur and Deputy London Mayor for Business in being honoured at The Indian Awards 2017 held in the Houses of Parliament last night (22 June).

Made up of six elite awards, the Special Recognition Award which applauds ‘an individual’s outstanding commitment to building UK-India relations’ was presented to David Cameron by H.E. Mr Y.K Sinha, the High Commissioner of India to the UK at his London Office.

Mr Cameron said: “It is a huge honour to accept this award and I am absolutely passionate about the relationship between Britain and India. It is a relationship based on common interests, a relationship based on the extraordinary strengths of the British Indian Diaspora and Britons working in India. I am proud of the amount I have done to help build this relationship that is going to be so important for the future of both of our countries”.

The Indian Awards were founded by Amarjit Singh, Chief Executive Officer of the India Business Group (IBG) and recognise UK-based individuals, businesses and organisations that have contributed to furthering the relationship culturally, socially or economically, between India and the UK.

“The modern relationship between the UK and India is at a key juncture. Through The Indian Awards we aim to inspire and encourage the next generation of UK and Indian entrepreneurs, facilitators and bridge builders who will take the bilateral relationship to greater heights,” said Amarjit.

The IBG contends that British businesses should be at the front lines in boosting trade between members of the Commonwealth. To support this aspiration, the Indian Awards initiative aims to celebrate, commend and cement UK-India relations. The gala dinner marked the 70th anniversary of Indian independence and also the current India-UK Year of Culture. The Awards ceremony was supported by a range of high profile partners, including the British Council, the Institute of Directors, global business brands and a recently-established charity – Catch Your Breath India  – which was appointed as the official charity partner of the Awards. The invitation-only dinner featured senior business leaders, officials, opinion-formers, prominent members of the Indian community, guests from India and other parts of the World.

“As Britain navigates the Brexit negotiations, the UK Government has shown much enthusiasm for a free trade agreement with other commonwealth countries with India among the most important and largest. Offering a common language, similar legal and political institutions and cultural ties, the estimated $2.3 trillion commercial market which the 52 Commonwealth nations represents is an unmissable golden opportunity for our post Brexit economy. However, the intra-Commonwealth trade amounts to only 17% of the total Commonwealth global trade.

“Amid uncertainties about the nature of the UK’s trading relationship with the EU at the expiration of the Article 50 Process come April 2019, it is now more vital than ever that our bold businesses and innovative entrepreneurs spread their wings and fly to the wider global stage for fresh opportunities,” Mr Singh contends.

Making a special mention of Here and Now 365, Lord Patel, chairman of the IBG said: “I would like to thank Here and Now 365 for their PR and event management support during the event at the prestigious Members Dining Room in the House of Commons. Their work within the India-UK corridor is well known, where they have constantly fostered relationships between brands and the consumers between both the countries. It gives us immense pleasure to have them on-board as part of our publicity support team.”

The Winners of The Indian Awards 2017

  1. Larger Business Award – J.C. Bamford Excavators Limited
  2. SME Award – Pavers Limited
  3. Professional Adviser Award – Anuj Chande, Partner and Head of South Asia Group at Grant Thornton LLP
  4. Entrepreneur Award – Rajesh Agrawal, Founder of Rational FX and Deputy Mayor of London, Business.
  5. Arts & Culture Award – Professor Sunil Khilnani, Director at King’s College London India Institute
  6. Special Recognition Award – The Rt Hon David Cameron, Former Prime Minister of the UK