London, Nov 19 (PTI) Ministers from the UK and Europe were among the winners at the Indo-European Business Forum (IEBF) awards ceremony in the House of Lords complex in London in recognition of their work to promote ties with India.

UK technology and digital minister Paul Scully, justice department minister Mark Freer and Malta's Minister for the Economy Silivio Schembri received the Excellence Awards at the ceremony on Friday night.

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Scully referenced the ongoing free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations as holding out great promise but stressed that the bilateral relationship went beyond that.

“India's economy has gone amazingly gangbusters because of the innovation and dedication of the people who have shown such enterprise, not just in India but in all of the countries where the diaspora is spread out,” said Scully.

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“The UK and India have very tight links and we need to deepen them further. And, it's not all about the free trade agreement, which is hugely important… It's so much more than just getting the ink dry on a piece of paper. It's about deepening our wider relationship,” he said.

Schembri highlighted the many attractions of Malta as an investment hub as he invited more Indian companies to consider setting up their base in the European archipelago in the Mediterranean.

Among the others awarded for excellence included Indian business chiefs for worldwide achievements across different fields, such as Prakash P. Chhabria of Finolex Industries, Mohinder Singh Malik of Oppo Mobile, Prabjot Singh Malik of Pace Tel Systems Private Limited and Probir Roy of Paymate.

The IEBF event, entitled Indo-European Business Alliances, returned after a pandemic-induced hiatus to highlight its core objective of establishing a path between India, UK and other European countries to facilitate greater political and economic cooperation.

“It is the most opportune moment in the India-UK corridor with Rishi Sunak as the first UK Prime Minister of Indian heritage and India under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Modi,” said Vijay Goel, co-founder of IEBF.

The ceremony also saw Indian-origin peer Baroness Sandy Verma and entrepreneur GP Hinduja formally launch a new research-based report entitled ‘India GDP in Trillion: A Path to Become a USD 30 Trillion Economy By 2030', written and compiled by IEBF co-founder Sunil Kumar Gupta.

“Our global business meet is not just a celebration of the bilateral relationship, trade and economic cooperation, but a celebration of cultures which can become a measure of development of a sustainable and prosperous society,” said Gupta.

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