NEW DELHI, MAY 05, 2021: INDIA and the UK on Tuesday adopted the ambitious ‘Roadmap 2030’ at a virtual summit, between Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Mr Boris Johnson, to elevate bilateral ties in trade and economy, defence and security, climate action, health and people-to-people contacts.
“India and the UK 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,” said Mr Modi’s Office.
The leaders also launched an Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) than envisages facilitating market access in specific sectors and doubling bilateral trade by 2030. To do so, they unveiled plans to frame a roadmap for pre-Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks by end of this year, finalise an interim trade deal by mid-2022, and conclude the FTA “at an early date.”
The nations promised to reduce barriers to trade through a “balanced and beneficial market access package” under the ETP including on agriculture, healthcare, education, legal services, seafarers, marine, healthcare and social security.
A new bilateral Global Innovation Partnership was also announced 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 Information and Communications Technology (ICT) products, and work on supply chain resilience. The two countries also signed eight agreements, including a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a migration and mobility partnership that will facilitate the movement of students and professionals and strengthen cooperation in combating illegal migration.
The other agreements covered telecommunications, digital infrastructure and data policies, logistics, and customs cooperation.
They also agreed to strengthen defence and security ties, including in maritime, counter-terrorism, cyberspace domains and in industrial collaborations. They also vowed to expand technology collaboration in developing combat aircrafts and complex weapons.