British Foreign Office Minister Lord Tariq Ahmad arrives in Delhi on Wednesday for the start of a two-day visit to India. The visit will set out how the two powers can work together to renew and revitalize relationships within the Commonwealth, setting out a new vision and liberalizing the global trading environment. Lord Ahmad will meet India’s Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar to discuss bilateral and foreign policy issues, including the Commonwealth. He will also meet British and Indian businesses, launch the latest round of Chevening and Commonwealth scholarships and speak to Indian partners working on gender equality issues.
Foreign Office Minister, Lord Ahmad said: “I am delighted to be returning to India for the first time in my role as a Foreign Office Minister. The UK and India’s relationship is going from strength-to-strength. As well as being global strategic partners, we benefit from a unique living bridge where thousands of diaspora, family, education, cultural, trade, science and research ties enrich our day-to-day lives.
“I will be taking forward discussions with Indian partners on making a success of next year’s Commonwealth Summit in London. India has a crucial role to play in ensuring this family of democracies is fit to take advantage and face the challenges posed by the 21st century.” The Commonwealth is home to a third of the world’s population, many of its fastest growing economies and half of the globe’s top 20 emerging cities; intra-Commonwealth trade are projected to reach $1 trillion by 2020; and it provides us with a unique network of common language and laws.
The Commonwealth Summit will be hosted the week of 16th April 2018, immediately following the closing of the Commonwealth Games in Queensland, with venues including St James’s Palace, Lancaster House, Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.