Britain is “open and progressive” in its attitude towards outsourcing, David Cameron said while on a state visit to India today. His remarks come after the Indian government expressed concern that a cap on immigration to the UK may harm Indian businesses including IT services providers.
The prime minister added that the government is not opposed to outsourcing its own IT contracts. “We are reviewing contracts, we are looking at what we pay for the services we have received,” he said. “It is like any other business.”
Cameron made the comments while visiting the Bangalore campus of Infosys, the Indian IT industry’s second largest company. In a speech there he said that enhancing trade links between Britain and India would create more jobs for both countries.
“I want to see thousands more jobs created in Britain, and of course thousands more in India through trade in the months and years ahead,” he said. “This is the core purpose of my visit. This trip is a trade mission, yes, but I prefer to see it as a jobs mission."
Last month, India’s minister for commerce and industry Anand Sharma said that “business leaders, professionals and other institutions” had expressed concerns that a proposed cap on immigration from outside the EU would harm their interests. “Though we understand the United Kingdom and European Union regulations,” he said, “the regime has to be investor friendly and must not come in the way of free movement of investors and professionals.”
In an inteview with BBC Radio 4 today, Cameron said that “we’re consulting as widely as possible about our immigration arrangements but let me be absolutely clear I want to see … the level of net immigration into the UK come down to the tens of thousands.”
According to government figures, there are 90,000 people working in the UK employed by Indian companies.