India, UK to negotiate Free Trade Agreement to double bilateral trade over next decade

Source :ANI
Author :ANI
Last Updated: Tue, May 4th, 2021, 23:25:06hrs
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (File Photo)

New Delhi [India], May 4 (ANI): India and UK on Tuesday agreed a '2030 Roadmap' which will provide a framework for bilateral relations across health, climate, trade, education, science and technology, and defence.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a virtual summit and agreed on ambitious plans for the next decade of the UK-India relationship.
They roadmap includes deepening the economic relationship through an Enhanced Trade Partnership and confirming their intent to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement with a view to doubling UK-India trade over the next decade.
The two countries agreed to cooperate closely to tackle threats to our shared security in all their forms. The UK's Carrier Strike Group will visit India later this year to boost this work with navies and air forces of the two countries will undertake joint training exercises to enable future cooperation on operations in the Western Indian Ocean.
A British High Commission statement said the two Prime Ministers have made an historic commitment to strengthen work between the UK and India over the next decade, bringing the two "countries, economies and people closer together and boosting cooperation in areas that matter to both countries".
"During a virtual meeting today, the two leaders agreed a '2030 Roadmap' which will provide a framework for UK-India relations across health, climate, trade, education, science and technology, and defence," the release said.
It said the roadmap includes commitments to expand the UK-India health partnership to enhance global health security and pandemic resilience. This includes firming up international supply chains to ensure critical medicines, vaccines and other medical products reach those who need them most.
The two countries will work together to ensure an ambitious outcome at COP26 and expand the UK-India partnership on tackling climate change, including by accelerating the development of clean energy and transport and new technology, protecting nature and biodiversity and helping developing countries adapt to the impact of climate change.
The roadmap includes increasing cooperation between British and Indian universities on crucial research in areas like health, emerging technologies, and climate science - and bringing enterprises together to propel ground-breaking innovations to communities that need them most.
It includes the launch of a UK-India Global Innovation Partnership, which will co-invest in climate and health innovations from India to transform the lives of people across Africa, Asia and the Indian Ocean.
It also includes extension of the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) to conclude its important work in bringing higher education and research sectors, and the people who work in them, closer together.
The roadmap includes enhancing migration relationship, to make it easier for British and Indian nationals to live and work in each other's countries.
The two countries also agreed to elevate the status of the relationship to a 'Comprehensive Strategic Partnership'.
"The breadth and depth of India's relationship with the UK is underpinned by the living bridge between our people - with more Indian companies in the UK than in the rest of Europe combined and a vibrant Indian diaspora of 1.6 million Brits sharing deep connections between our countries. During their meeting, the Prime Ministers undertook to work closely together in support of those values, including at next month's G7 in Cornwall, which India is invited to as a guest nation," the statement said.
It said over the last week British business, civil society and the wider public have demonstrated the strength of the relationship between the UK and India by donating much-needed medical supplies to the country.
During their call, the two prime ministers agreed to continue to work together "on shared fight against coronavirus". They pointed to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, currently being produced by India's Serum Institute, as an example of the power of UK-India cooperation.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "The UK and India share many fundamental values. The UK is one of the oldest democracies, and India is the world's largest. We are both committed members of the Commonwealth. And there is a living bridge uniting the people of our countries. In the last week the British people have stepped up in their thousands to support our Indian friends during this terrible time in a demonstration of the deep connection between the UK and India. This connection will only grow over the next decade as we do more together to tackle the world's biggest problems and make life better for our people. The agreements we have made today mark the beginning of a new era in the UK-India relationship."
British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis said the scope of the 2030 Roadmap makes absolutely clear how much the UK and India can and must do together.
"This is a defining moment in the UK-India partnership, as we look to rebuild from the economic and health impacts of Covid-19, and lay the foundations for a secure and prosperous decade," he said. (ANI)

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