India, UK unveil 10 yr roadmap; to raise bilateral ties to ‘Strategic Complete Partnership’

New Delhi, May 4

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson on Tuesday unveiled an ambitious 10 year roadmap to elevate India-UK ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership and boost cooperation in key areas, including defence, security, trade and healthcare.

During a virtual summit between Modi and Johnson, the two sides also declared an enhanced trade partnership, termed as “another big-ticket announcement” by the External Affairs Ministry.

According to a statement from Johnson’s office, “More than 6,500 new jobs will be created around the UK thanks to the one billion pounds of new UK-India trade and investment announced by the Prime Minister today.”

The package contains over 533 million pounds of new Indian investment into the UK, which is expected to create more than 6,000 jobs in vital and growing sectors such as health and technology, Downing Street said. 

This includes a GBP 240 million investment by the Serum Institute of India (SII) in the UK into its vaccine business and a new sales office in the country, expected to generate new business worth over USD 1 billion, it added.

Asserting that the summit has “opened a new chapter” in the Indo-UK ties, the MEA said the launch of an ambitious 10-year roadmap to further broaden ties was a “big deliverable”, and five area of cooperation under the roadmap were—people-to-people ties, trade, defence and security, climate and health.

Another big-ticket announcement was declaration of enhanced trade partnership, the ministry said.

On whether the extradition of Indian fugitives—Vijay Mallay and Nirav Modi—was discussed between the two leaders, the MEA said they discussed extradition of economic offenders.

During the meeting PM Modi said economic offenders should be sent back to India at earliest for trial, the ministry added.

Johnson was scheduled to visit India late last month. But days before the visit, he called it off in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

In January too, Johnson’s planned trip to India to participate in the Republic Day parade as the chief guest was cancelled following a surge in COVID-19 infections in the UK.

Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and British Home Secretary Priti Paten signed a migration and mobility partnership agreement.

Jaishankar is currently on a four-day visit to the UK to attend a meeting of foreign ministers of G7 countries.

“A fruitful meeting this morning with Home Secretary @pritipatel. Signed the Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement that would facilitate legal travel and encourage talent flows. The living bridge between India andthe  UK will get stronger as a result,” he tweeted. PTI

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