Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to visit Pakistan and India later this year to boost economic and cultural ties with London meeting top business figures from the IT industry to Bollywood, stated an announcement made on a government website on Tuesday.

According to the announcement, high on the agenda will be spreading the message that London is open to those looking to work, visit or study following the EU referendum. Students from India contribute £130m a year to the capital’s economy.

The visit, the first by a British politician to both countries in recent times, will see the Mayor take in Mumbai, Delhi and Amritsar in India before visiting Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi. 

Sadiq will be accompanied by a delegation of UK business leaders and will meet with politicians, investors and entrepreneurs from across South Asia on the trip, which is aimed at strengthening trade and investment links as well as promoting cultural exchange.

Indian companies invest more in the UK than in the rest of Europe combined, employing some 110,000 people in the country, while bilateral trade between the UK and Pakistan is valued at £2 billion.

“As someone whose grandparents were born in India, and whose parents moved to London from Pakistan, I feel a deep affinity for the subcontinent,” the mayor said.

"But what excites me most about this trip is that I know it can deliver real benefits for Londoners. Benefits in terms of business and trade, jobs and investment, and in terms of cultural and technological exchange.”

“I am passionate about showing that my city will always be open to engaging with partners from around the world,” the mayor said.