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Indian investments into Britain phenomenal: London Mayor

LONDON: London Mayor Boris Johnson has described the post-Olympic surge in Indianinvestments into Britain as "phenomenal". 

Speaking at a press conference here today to mark a "year on" since London played host to the Olympic Games in July 2012, he also highlighted the role played by 
Tata MotorsBSE -0.78 % in a resurgence in Britain's automotive industry. 

"The story of Indian investment in Britain is absolutely phenomenal. The UK is set to become the No 2 car producer in the whole of the 
European Union, largely thanks to Indian investment in the UK. That is a fantastic synergy and we are very, very keen to encourage it," he told PTI. 

According to recently released UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) figures, India is now the second-largest investor into London as a result of the investment fervour generated by the London 2012 Games. 

Overall in the UK, India beat Chinese 
foreign direct investment (FDI) figures to emerge as the fourth-largest investor with 89 Indian FDI projects which helped create as many as 7,255 jobs in Britain. 

China slipped from its position as third-largest investor to sixth with 70 projects, the UK government's '2012/13 Inward Investment Annual Report' had revealed earlier this week. 

Asked if his visit to India in November 2012, soon after the Olympics, was responsible for this Indian FDI boost, Johnson said: "I had a good trip to India but that the rise in investments was in some way an after-shock effect of that particular trip, I wouldn't say." 

"But we are very keen to build up our intensified links between London and India and I will certainly be planning another visit in the next 18 months. I am back in India in December, but that is for a family wedding," he said. 

The mayor of London, who was joined by Britain's Minister for Sport 
Hugh Robertson, also announced plans for a mega new indoor ski facility to be built adjacent to the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, as well as 67.5 million pounds worth of contracts awarded for Olympic stadium redevelopment. 

"One year on from London's Olympic and Paralympic Games, we are defying the sceptics who prophesied a herd of white elephants. Stratford's status as a stunning new destination is confirmed by Westfield's plans for a world-class indoor ski centre. This underscores the massive confidence in this area from investors," the mayor said in reference to the legacy of the Games.