THE UK and India will sign an inter-government agreement that would pave the way for a mutually beneficial working relationship in infrastructure financing, Harriet Baldwin, Economic Secretary to the UK Treasury, said.
The agreement — which could include collaboration issues around fund raising for infrastructure — is expected to be signed on the sidelines of G20 Finance Ministers meeting slated to be held in Shanghai at the end of this month, Ms Baldwin said at a roundtable meeting organised by India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL) here on Monday.
“This formal collaboration between the two governments will build on the work that has already been done in terms of how we can put together the skills from the UK professional service sector, the experience that we have in terms of infrastructure investment in terms of public private partnership, in terms of project financing and formalise that in terms of working relationship,” she said.
This is Ms Baldwin’s maiden visit to India in her current role as Economic Secretary (Minister for financial services). She will also visit Mumbai during her official visit to India.
Also visiting India is Alok Sharma Member of Parliament, who has been recently appointed as the British Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Infrastructure to India.
Ms Baldwin said that the UK Government was already in talks with Indian Government for investing in a sub-fund of the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), which is a flagship infrastructure investment initiative.
During the Economic and Finance Dialogue between the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in London last month, both countries agreed to explore ways to encourage increased investment in infrastructure with the aim of developing an India-UK partnership fund under the NIIF.
Ms Baldwin said that the UK was keen to work with India in helping the latter overcome challenges faced in raising funds for infrastructure financing and added: “We could play a part in helping and attracting funding for investment in Indian infrastructure.”