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U.K., India in $1.6 Billion Trade Accords After BP-Reliance Deal

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July 24 (Bloomberg) -- The U.K. and India will unveil about 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) in commercial deals days after BP Plc won approval to buy $7.2 billion in stakes in Reliance Industries Ltd.’s oil and natural gas blocks.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee will present the agreements in London tomorrow following regular talks both countries hold each year. The talks also seek to improve financial links and ways to support businesses trying to establish a presence in each country.

“Britain is now making the largest foreign investment in India,” Osborne said in a statement released by his office in London today. “British companies are competing with the best in the world, despite some sceptical voices, and it is good for growth in Britain.”

Osborne and Prime Minister David Cameron are striving to boost trade with India, China and Brazil, and break the U.K.’s reliance on finance as a source of income. The BP deal may reach as much as $20 billion, the Treasury said today.

Five months after announcing the accord, BP will acquire a 30 percent interest in 21 of 23 blocks proposed by Reliance, Oil Minister S. Jaipal Reddy said after a cabinet meeting in New Delhi last week.

Last year, BP signed a deal to explore off Brazil and sealed a partnership with Cnooc Ltd., China’s biggest offshore oil producer, for licenses in the South China Sea.

To contact the reporters on this story: Gonzalo Vina in London at gvina@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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