India’s prime minister Narendra Modi has told Theresa May the two countries will remain as close as ever following Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.
The pair have agreed a new India-UK trade partnership, resulting in new Indian investments worth more than £1bn. According to the government this will create or safeguard 5,750 British jobs.
During talks held at Downing Street this morning, Mr Modi said “there would be no dilution in the importance of the UK to India post-Brexit”, adding that “City of London was of great importance to India for accessing the global markets and would remain so”.
Prime minister Modi is in the UK to take part in the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
Updating Mr Modi on the latest Brexit progress, Mrs May said the implementation period agreed in March gives Indian companies and investors the confidence that market access will continue on current terms until the end of 2020.
She also stressed that the UK will remain “committed to global free trade and investment” and “a leading hub for global finance”.
India-UK Trade Partnership
According to the Department for International Trade, the new India-UK Trade Partnership will reduce barriers to trade in three key sectors – life sciences, IT, and food and drink.
Dr Liam Fox, Britain’s international trade secretary, said: “Removing barriers to trade is a key way in which the UK can capitalise on the predicted growth in world markets and so I’m delighted we have come to this new trade partnership with India.
“It is clear that that the opportunities for growth in trade with India are plenty, and as an international economic department we will continue to use tools such as trade missions not only to boost UK exports, but also to help businesses of all sizes forge ties and build cultivate relationships with potential buyers and investors.”
In addition, the UK has also agreed to strengthen ties with India’s agriculture industries, and to back a “package of technical assistance to help India climb further up the rankings for ease of doing business”.
UK-India Tech Partnership
Prime ministers May and Modi have also agreed to launch a new UK-India Tech Partnership in a move that’s expected to generate investment and create thousands of new jobs across the UK.
According to the government, the partnership will “identify and pair businesses, venture capital, universities and others to provide access routes to markets for British and Indian entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises”.
Britain has committed £1m to the project, and could invest up to £14m by 2022.
The partnership will encourage innovation and productivity by helping businesses in the UK and India collaborate on emerging technologies, develop mentoring relationships and exchange staff.
The pilot will focus on increased collaboration between the UK and Pune in the west of India, in particular in areas including low emission and autonomous vehicles, battery storage and vehicle light-weighting.
Main image: ©Press Information Bureau, India – The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi meeting the Prime Minister of United Kingdom, Ms. Theresa May, at 10 Downing Street.