Lord Sheikh spoke at the launch of the Africa International Business Forum which was founded by Mr Ashok Verma. In his speech Lord Sheikh said that it is important for the United Kingdom to undertake more trade with overseas countries to strengthen the countries’ economic position. Lord Sheikh also attached importance of increasing trade with Africa and a number of African countries have a growth rate in excess of 7%. The United Kingdom has an historic connection with a number of African countries and there are a number of commonalities relating to language and law. Bilateral trade between UK and African countries will result in closer business and people-to-people ties.