• Tuesday, May 28, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Modi, Sunak agree to deepen cooperation in trade, investment and technology

Both countries are aiming to double bilateral trade by 2030

FILE PHOTO: Narendra Modi (L) with Rishi Sunak during the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Hiroshima on May 21, 2023. (Photo by STEFAN ROUSSEAU/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on Sunday (21) held productive talks with his British counterpart Rishi Sunak during which they reviewed bilateral strategic partnership, including progress in India-UK free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations.

The two leaders also agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation across a wide range of areas such as trade and investment and science and technology.

“A boost to – Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. PM @narendramodi held productive talks with PM @RishiSunak of the UK in Hiroshima. The two leaders reviewed their Strategic Partnership, including taking stock of progress in India-UK FTA negotiations,” the ministry of external affairs (MEA) tweeted.

Leaders agreed to deepen cooperation across a wide range of areas, such as trade & investment, science & technology, higher education, and people-to-people relationship, it said.

India and the UK have been negotiating an FTA since January last year, with a goal towards a comprehensive pact that is expected to significantly enhance the bilateral trading relationship worth an estimated £34 billion in 2022.

The two nations last month concluded the ninth round of India-UK FTA negotiations with detailed discussions across a range of policy areas.

Recently, Britain’s chief negotiator for the FTA – Harjinder Kang – was appointed the country’s new trade commissioner to South Asia and deputy high commissioner for western India, based in Mumbai.

According to official UK government statistics, India was the UK’s 12th largest trading partner in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2022, accounting for 2.1 per cent of total UK trade.

The two leaders shared a tight hug before their talks.

(PTI)

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