Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that he has agreed with his British counterpart Theresa May to set up a joint working group on trade between the two nations. Prime Minister Modi added that its focus should not only be on goods but also services.
“A meeting of the India-UK CEOs Forum held earlier today and their valuable recommendations would help us deepen business to business ties. The meeting of the India-UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee later this afternoon will take forward the business agenda. We have also agreed to establish a Joint Working Group on Trade. We believe that such a group should not only focus on ways to increase trade in goods, but also on the expansion of services trade, including through greater mobility of skilled professionals,” Prime Minister Modi said while addressing the joint statement.
“I am honoured to welcome you to India. We deeply appreciate that you have chosen India for your first bilateral visit outside Europe. Last week was a period of great festivities in India. You also celebrated Diwali with much fanfare in London. Your visit today gives us reasons to celebrate the vibrant and strong India-UK partnership,” he added. Asserting that India-UK ties are truly special, Prime Minister Modi said it is an enduring partnership which is nurtured by their shared values and extensive people to people linkages.
“Let’s not forget cricket here, wide spread economic engagement for the prosperity of our societies, common efforts aimed at the security of our people and a common vision for a peaceful and prosperous world. Our strategic partnership is geared towards meeting the existing, new and emerging challenges of the twenty first century and contributing to the larger regional and global good,” he added. “In my extensive discussions with Prime Minister May today, we looked at the full range of our partnership. The spread and depth of our engagement has indeed been impressive. We also agreed to add new domains and initiatives to broaden the scope of our linkages. Earlier this morning, Prime Minister May and I jointly inaugurated the India-UK Tech Summit. It marked a fitting celebration of 2016 as the India-UK Year of Education, Innovation and Research,” Prime Minister Modi said. Asserting that Science and Technology is a vibrant and fast growing space in India, UK partnership, Prime Minister Modi said it is an area of tremendous potential and promise.
“It allows for the convergence of novel ideas, new research and next generation technologies and brings the benefits of science and technology collaboration to the lives of common people, not just in India and the UK, but in the entire world,” he added. The Prime Minister said new bilateral initiatives on clean energy development and energy efficient building materials were announced at the Summit. “These would be critical for development of Smart Cities and to our quest for innovative solutions to tackle challenges of climate change and sustainability,” he added. Prime Minister Modi also stated that the growing business partnerships and expanding trade and capital flows between the two economies are crucial to their economic partnership.
“Indian companies have been successfully raising finance from the city of London. We are encouraged by the London Stock Exchange presently hosting several Rupee denominated Masala bonds. It reflects the strong investor confidence in the fast growing Indian economy,” he added. Dubbing the multifaceted relationship of India and UK as ‘unique’, Prime Minister Modi said his British counterpart’s visit to India and the outcome of their discussions today would add new dimensions and substance that would further strengthen their partnership. “I also take this opportunity to convey my best wishes to the English cricket team, who will begin their campaign in Rajkot, Gujarat, day after tomorrow. May the best team win! Excellency, Let me once again extend a very warm welcome to you and your delegation to India,” he added.