UK visa regime 'driving away Indian investors'

23 Mar 2012 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The UK visa regime as it stands is driving away potential Indian investors and businesspeople, according to recent comments.

Speaking the The Telegraph, Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja stated that a prohibitive UK visa regime is a significant factor in reducing the appeal of Britain for business. High taxes and restrictive property laws were also cited as problems.

The brothers, who own a multi-billion pound business empire, made the statement following a visit by business secretary Vince Cable to India and ahead of chancellor George Osborne's visit to meet the India finance minister.

Gopichand Hinduja told the paper: "We strongly believe Britain can play an important role and we shouldn’t lose that opportunity. Today Indians can bring great investment into the UK. But there are visa problems - don't you think that becomes a barrier to investment? If taxes keep growing, that’s a barrier to the new investor."

He added that he knew of several of his Indian friends who have begun to leave London and the UK for alternative destinations, such as Dubai and Geneva, in a bid to find a more welcoming business environment.

The brothers suggested that prime minister David Cameron should seek the views of Indians in the UK to explore more effective ways of encouraging business between the two nations.