Britain's Royal Mint will resume manufacture of gold coins in India, for the first time since 1918, to tap into the world's largest gold market, an official announcement said on the first day of Prime Minister David Cameron's three-day visit to the country.
The state-owned Royal Mint, which is Britain's oldest manufacturer, said it would begin making its gold 'sovereign' in a move that could earn $125 million a year by 2016 for the recession-hit UK Treasury.
The news that a widely recognised British brand plans to invest in India came as Cameron arrived in Mumbai on Monday to promote improved business links, alongside a delegation of more than 100 representatives from business, higher education and the creative industries.
''It is great to see gold sovereign coins being introduced back into India for the first time in almost 100 years,'' Cameron said in a statement.
The Royal Mint hopes its coins, which will be made under licence by MMTC-PAMP, an Indian gold producer and trader, will prove popular at the nation's lavish weddings and innumerable religious festivals, where gold is an auspicious gift.
The coins will be marked with an 'I' to reflect their Indian production.