British Prime Minister Theresa May's welcome at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru turned out to be surrounded in policy discussion as Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday urged Britain to review the new visa policy to minimise barriers in the flow of talented people, particularly in the IT sector.
"Our fast growing and high value technology sectors rely upon an effective immigration policy that attracts highly skilled workers and minimises barriers to the flow of talented people. The movement of skilled tech workers from India should be seen as a trade priority rather than an immigration issue," Siddaramaiah was quoted as saying by the Hindu.
"Temporary placement of highly-skilled individuals in the U.K. provides a significant economic boost while having a negligible impact on net migration," he added.
Karnataka Industries and Commerce Minister RV Deshpande and Minister for Tourism Priyank Kharge accompanied the chief minister in welcoming PM May.
Siddaramaiah also expressed his gratitude to PM May for picking Bengaluru as her first destination of visit following New Delhi while adding that the visit will help in establishing a solid economic relationship between the UK and Karnataka.
The chief minister also lauded Karnataka's achievements in technology and knowledge-based enterprises in diverse fields such as aerospace, automobiles, manufacturing, machine tools, information technology, bio-technology, pharmaceuticals and life sciences.
"Bengaluru understands business and that is the reason for the location of many successful UK businesses here," he said while adding that 15 percent of UK-based companies in India were in Karnataka, employing 23,000 people.
We seek investments from UK-based firms in renewable energy and for creating smart cities. The strength of U.K. research and innovation and the implementation capabilities of Karnataka together can help forge a unique partnership in the days to come," the chief minister said.
"We shall be happy to work together to identify opportunities for the UK to work with Karnataka for creating next generation logistics, infrastructure and connectivity across fast growing regions of southern and western India," he added.
The chief minister also expressed an appeal for kick-starting the UK Health City Project which was signed in a Memorandum of Understanding and had earmarked 400 acres for the same.
"We look forward to the early setting up of this project, which would support manufacturing and research and development in medical devices and equipment. We are also keen to collaborate with UK in the fields of maternal and child nutrition, higher education, and public health and health care," Siddaramaiah said.