G P Hinduja (Photo by Tristan Fewings - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

India and China can become the strongest partners in the world and the leaders of the two countries can together face US President Donald Trump against his “protectionism”, leading British-Indian industrialist G P Hinduja has said.

The Hinduja Group Co-Chair said the UK-headquartered Indian conglomerate wanted to invest more in China and build the three-way China-India-UK partnership.

“I am not happy with the way we have invested in China. Although we have four big ventures there, I have asked my people to focus more on China because the future is in Asia,” Hinduja said, addressing a reception hosted for a visiting business delegation from China in London on Tuesday.

“China and India together can become the strongest partners in the world… I am British but my heart is Indian. The UK-Chinese relations are good but there is great potential. So our doors are open for India-China and China-UK and other growth opportunities,” said Hinduja.

He said the family-run conglomerate, with a presence across 11 verticals and spread over 70 countries, would focus more on China in the coming years to build upon its presence in the region.

Hinduja said his grandchildren were embracing Mandarin as a language of choice and as a sign of the family’s commitment to China.

The Hinduja Group Co-Chair noted that India-China bilateral relations were strong as a result of a personal equation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, both supporters of globalisation.

“They can together face President Trump against his protectionism… China is a country I love and really appreciate their achievements and hard work,” he said.

The Hindujas, Britain’s wealthiest in the 2019 UK rich list, also feature in the ‘Hurun Global Rich List’ released earlier this year by researcher Rupert Hoogewerf, who led the Chinese business delegation to coincide with the UK visit of Chinese Vice-Premier Hu Chunhua this week.

“This endeavour of the Hinduja family to bring together business people at a personal level to build friendships is much more significant than any other kind of economic interaction,” said Hoogewerf.

Earlier in the week, new business deals representing commercial signings, future contract commitments and MoUs were agreed by British and Chinese companies as part of the 10th UK China Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) in London.

In total, the deals are valued at 503 million pounds and expected to generate 175 new jobs in the UK as well as deliver significant gains for the financial services, education, creative, food and agriculture and technology sectors.