The two Prime Ministers launched an ‘Enhanced Trade Partnership’ (ETP) to unleash the trade potential between the 5th and 6th largest economies of the world and by setting an ambitious target of more than doubling bilateral trade by 2030, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk.
India and the UK on Tuesday adopted an ambitious ‘Roadmap 2030’ to elevate bilateral ties to a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” between the two countries in major sectors covering trade, defence and climate security.
The roadmap will pave the way for a deeper and stronger engagement over the next ten years in the key areas of people-to-people contacts, trade and economy, defence and security, climate action and health, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement.
The decisions were taken in a virtual summit attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson — a move ahead as both the countries already enjoy long standing friendly ties and share a Strategic Partnership underpinned by mutual commitment to democracy, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, strong complementarities and growing convergences.
The two leaders also discussed the Covid-19 situation and ongoing cooperation in the fight against the pandemic, including the successful partnership on vaccines.
PM Modi thanked PM Johnson for the prompt medical assistance provided by the UK in the wake of the severe second wave of Covid-19 in India.
Johnson appreciated India’s role in extending assistance to the UK and other countries over the last year, including by way of supply of pharmaceuticals and vaccines.
The two Prime Ministers launched an ‘Enhanced Trade Partnership’ (ETP) to unleash the trade potential between the 5th and 6th largest economies of the world and by setting an ambitious target of more than doubling bilateral trade by 2030.
“As part of the ETP, India and the UK agreed on a roadmap to negotiate a comprehensive and balanced FTA, including consideration of an Interim Trade Agreement for delivering early gains. The enhanced trade partnership between India and UK will generate several thousands of direct and indirect jobs in both the countries,” the statement said.
The UK is India’s second largest partner in research and innovation collaborations. A new India-UK ‘Global Innovation Partnership’ was announced at the Virtual Summit that aims to support the transfer of inclusive Indian innovations to select developing countries, starting with Africa.
Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation on new and emerging technologies, including Digital and ICT products, and work on supply chain resilience. They also agreed to strengthen defence and security ties, including in the maritime, counter-terrorism and cyberspace domains.
Both the leaders agreed to enhance the India-UK defence partnership with a particular focus on maritime and industrial collaboration.
According to British High Commission (BHC), the leaders reaffirmed the benefits of closer cooperation in a free and open Indo-Pacific, recognising their shared interest in regional prosperity and stability.
They agreed to significant new cooperation on Maritime Domain Awareness, which includes new agreements on maritime information sharing, an invitation to the UK to join India’s Information Fusion Centre in Gurgaon and an ambitious exercise programme which includes joint trilateral exercises.
The two countries are also working to conclude a Logistics Memorandum of Understanding that will enhance the joint ability to tackle shared challenges.
In addition to commitments on the Indo-Pacific, India and the UK agreed to build on existing government-to-government collaboration on India’s future combat air engine requirement.
As part of their ‘2030 Roadmap’, they agreed to work closely together in support of India’s indigenous development of the Light Combat Aircraft Mark 2. They also spoke of the potential for further industrial collaboration in areas like maritime propulsion, space and cyber, marking the start of a promising new era of UK-India research, capability and industrial collaboration on Indian combat air and beyond, according to the release.
“This agreement builds upon that signed between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Rolls Royce to move aspects of the manufacture of the MT30 Gas Turbine engine to India, supporting PM Modi’s Make in India initiative. The MT30 is an engine employed widely in navies around the world and is the basis of the UK’s Integrated Electric Propulsion system that powers the Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers,” the BHC said.
The roadmap sets out an ambitious agenda for UK-India collaboration on fighting climate change, including a new partnership on clean energy transition, which will drive progress on development of renewables like offshore wind, improved energy efficiency and storage, and advances in electric mobility. Both countries also committed to collaborating on green hydrogen.
It also talks about jointly launching a new global Green Grids Initiative at COP26 for countries to work together on interconnected grids for renewable energy, to help deliver India’s vision of One Sun One World One Grid.
The roadmap called for a joint action through the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), which the UK and India co-chair, to support Small Island Developing States to prepare for the impacts of climate change by bolstering their infrastructure. (with inputs from ANI)
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