A delegation of independent British music firms will embark later this week on a trade mission to India, the world's second most populous country and the 23rd largest music market in value.

A delegation of independent British music firms will embark later this week on a trade mission to India, the world's second most populous country and the 23rd largest music market in value.

British trade body the Association of Independent Music has organized the initiative in association with UK Trade & Investment, an organization the British government established to foster international trade.

The visitors will meet with representatives of the local music industry and a cross-section of international firms already active in India. Sessions will take place March 26-31 in Mumbai and Chennai.

Assi Enterprises, BHX Management, Chevstar Records, Concept Music are among the attending firms, each of which receives a travel grant through AIM and UKTI towards their costs.

AIM executives view the occasion as an opportunity to facilitate licensing deals, reciprocal activities, arrange live performances and synch deals with film business.

"India represents a massive opportunity for the British music industry, and the AIM missions are proving invaluable to build knowledge and understanding in this rapidly developing country," says AIM chair/CEO Alison Wenham in a statement.

The UKTI was also a key partner in recent British trade missions to the United States, Japan, China, Australia and AIM's inaugural India trade mission in March 2005.