Britain 'upgrades' Bangalore trade office to deputy high commission

03rd September 2009
Britain 'upgrades' Bangalore trade office to deputy high commission
Karnataka Governor H.R. Bharadwaj ( left) and British Deputy High Commissioner Richard Hyde at the formal inauguration of the UK Deputy HC in Bangalore, Sep. 3

Focus on IT-BT will remain, but will reach  to rest of Karnataka

Fifteen years after it opened a small trade office in what was then  India's nascent silicon city, Britain has 'upgraded' its presence in Bangalore to  full consular presence:  On Thursday, Karnataka state governor, H.R. Bharadwaj  formally inaugurated  the UK's fourth deputy high commission in India -- after the three metros, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.

Reminding the audience  of his last role as Union Law Minister, Mr Bharadwaj,  said  Britain and India were united by  strong bonds   -- like their common legal system which he called "Britain's gift to India".

The Head of the UK Trade Office in Bangalore,  Richard Hyde who took over as  Deputy High Commissioner, a few weeks ago ( a case of  donning an additional hat, rather than  switching from an old one)  said  the Bangalore presence would continue  its reach-out to  the  technology and education sectors -- but  now  it extended beyond the  state capital, to all of Karnataka. For starters,   his office was scheduled to organise a British event in Mangalore next month.

Bangalore has always been  the base for a strong science and technology  team of UK Trade and Investment and for some years now,   the largest  groups to participate at  the annual Bangalore Bio and Bangalore  shows, have been from Britain.

UK Visas  for Karnataka applicants will continue to be issued from Chennai -- but as Mr Hyde pointed out  Britain had learnt a lesson or two from India's outsourcing success and  it no longer mattered where  the visa issuing office was situated.... Karnataka-based  applicants   needed to interact only with the Bangalore office of  VFS  which handled all visa customers from the state.( )

/ Sep 3 2009