Terrorism and economic reforms seeking to boost investment will be the major agenda during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to the United Kingdom besides paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi’s statue near the Parliament and addressing the Indian diaspora at Wembley.
“There will be a lot of political and security related discussions between the Prime Ministers and also on terrorism and extremism. We expect a statement on defence and security, development partnership and on energy and climate change,” Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar told a media briefing on Prime Minister Modi’s forthcoming UK visit.
The Foreign Secretary informed that the Prime Minister will have a luncheon meeting with her majesty the Queen at the Buckingham Palace. Modi will also be the first Indian Prime Minister to address the U.K Parliament.
“This will be the third meeting between both the leaders as Prime Minister Cameron has visited India thrice and both he and his party have spoken strongly in terms of enhancing bilateral terms with India, and we reciprocate that interest,” Jaishankar said.
He added that the Prime Minister’s visits both at Number 10, Downing Street and Chequers, which is the official residence of his British counterpart, will be a slight shift from the traditional visits.
“In terms of the bilateral relationship with the U.K, it’s been a strategic relation for 11 years as both the nations are leading investors with each other. Our ball park figure for UK investments in India is in excess of 22 billion dollars and an Indian investment in UK is around 500 million dollars. The bilateral trade value is around 18 billion dollars,” the Foreign Secretary said.
Interestingly, when Prime Minister Modi pays homage at the statue of Gandhi near the Parliament, a fly-past with the Indian colours is likely.
His other engagements include a visit to BR Ambedkar’s house in which he lived when he was a student at the London School of Economics as well as unveiling the bust of Sri Basaveshwara at the Thames river embankment.
On the Prime Minister’s visit to the Tata Motors, Jaishankar said that it was a very significant event as it showed India as a significant job creator in the U.K
“This is the largest private manufacturing sector in the U.K and we want to send the message that we are job makers, not job takers,” he said.
Cameron will be with Prime Minister Modi for most of the programmes and will also escort him to the British Chambers of Commerce.
Prime Minister Modi will be visiting the United Kingdom and Turkey from November 12 to November 16.