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FM Jaitley, Exchequer Chancellor Osborne to push Indo-UK economic ties

New Delhi(ANI): Affirming their resolve to strengthen economic ties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart David Cameron have agreed that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will drive this forward in their forthcoming Economic and Financial Dialogue.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

“They committed to further strengthening the economic relationship, including through deepening the bilateral trade and investment relationship, and agreed that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will drive this forward in their forthcoming Economic and Financial Dialogue”, said the joint statement issued after the talks between both leaders.

Both leaders hailed the strength of the economic partnership between India and the UK: India already invests more in the UK than in the rest of the EU combined, and the UK is the largest G20 investor in India.

The UK and India remain committed to working together to substantially increase trade and investment opportunities.

The two governments underlined the particular importance of the information technology and digital industries in both countries, and the contribution that they make towards strengthening trade ties between the UK and India as a key driver of growth and prosperity.

Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to work together to deepen and reinforce bilateral trade in goods and services in this area. Acknowledging the valuable contributions made by skilled workers to both countries’ economies, they agreed to facilitate the temporary movement of skilled personnel in accordance with applicable international commitments.

The two Prime Ministers agreed that the London should play an important role in channelling investment into infrastructure projects in India including railways sector, laying the foundation for a long-term strategic partnership that leverages the capital and expertise of London to finance India’s continued rapid growth.

In this context, they also welcomed the announcements by HDFC, Bharti Airtel, State Bank of India and Yes Bank to raise finance through the London which also opens up the opportunity for the Indian private sector to raise capital for their investment and growth.

Prime Minister Modi and Cameron welcomed a long-term strategic partnership between India and the UK on the former’s flagship infrastructure investment initiative, the National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF), and announced the setting up of a India-UK partnership fund under the umbrella of the NIIF. The collaboration will help bring global investors through London to help finance Indian infrastructure in a sustainable way, further supporting India’s rapid growth.

Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Cameron welcomed the ongoing collaboration by the India-UK Financial Partnership led by key industry figures on both sides. They look forward to considering the Partnership’s proposals for deepening the links between the two countries’ financial services.

The two Prime Ministers welcomed the creation of a new Chevening Financial Services course, sponsored by Standard Chartered, aimed at mid-career professionals wanting to study in the UK. They also welcomed the initiative taken to launch the first-ever exchange programme between the economic services of our two countries to support economic policy making in both countries.

The two Prime Ministers agreed that India’s huge achievements in economic growth and inclusive development are not just important for India’s own ambitious goals and targets, but an inspiration to the world and critical to the achievement of global targets. They recognised that both India and the UK are thought leaders on development, and agreed to elevate the official-level development talks to a Biennial Ministerial dialogue on Development.

They recognised the importance of infrastructure for sustainable development and launched India’s first Low Income State Infrastructure Equity Partnership with co-investment from the UK Department of International Development and the State Bank of India. This aims to provide equity partnerships for small infrastructure development in sectors like water & sanitation, clean energy and urban infrastructure.

The two Prime Ministers welcomed the first meeting of the reconstituted India-UK CEOs Forum. This Forum will be tasked with advising the Prime Ministers about the trade and investment opportunities and challenges. Prime Minister Cameron welcomed a new fast track mechanism by DIPP for UK investments into and trade with India.

They acknowledged the need for technical cooperation between the offices of both the countries on Patents, Trademarks and Designs.

Prime Minister Modi appreciated the advances made by UK in rail project management and operations. The two Leaders welcomed the MoU on Technical Co-operation in the Rail sector and acknowledged the potential business opportunities for the rail industry. Both sides agreed to encourage their institutions to work together, develop options for infrastructure financing, share knowledge and expertise and to deepen research and development exchanges. Prime Minister Modi announced the Government of India’s intention to launch the first government-backed rupee bond in London.

Prime Minister Modi and his British counterpart expressed their wish to promote innovation led growth in the automotive sector in India. They identified a need to collaborate and exchange technical knowledge in research and development, testing and administration of testing systems for vehicles. The UK and India are willing to share expertise in these fields to develop knowledge and experience.
This will be achieved through an MoU to be signed between appropriate departments and agencies under the Government of India and UK.

Prime Minister Cameron and Prime Minister Modi recognised the importance of the multilateral, rules-based trading system, and agreed to work together to help ensure a successful outcome at the Nairobi World Trade Organisation Ministerial in December, in conformity with the development mandate of the Doha Development Agenda.

The two leaders also agreed that corruption is one of the greatest enemies of progress in our time. Both sides will work together, bilaterally and in multilateral fora like UNCAC and G20, in order to strengthen the global response to corruption, including through improving cooperation among law enforcement agencies, strengthening procedures for the identification and return of stolen assets, and increasing transparency around the true (or “beneficial”) ownership and control of companies.

Both Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to finalisation of an EU-India BTIA as soon as possible. The UK and India committed to work closely together towards this end.

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