Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom held a Virtual Summit today (May 4). An ambitious ‘Roadmap 2030’ was adopted at the Summit to improve the bilateral ties to a ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’.
The roadmap will pave the way for a stronger engagement over the next ten years in the key areas of people to people contacts, trade and economy, defence and security, climate action and health.
During this discussion, Modi also raised the need to extradite economic offenders like Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi at the earliest, stated the External Affairs Ministry. According to CNBC TV 18, the UK PM assured his Indian counterpart that he will do whatever is possible.
Both countries decided on a pre-Free Trade agreement discussions as well.
In February 2021, the UK extradition judge had ordered that Nirav Modi will be extradited to India to stand trial. Meanwhile, UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid ordered the extradition of Vijay Mallya to India. But Mallya, who is due to be extradited to India, has applied for “another route” to be able to stay in the UK. Despite extradition orders, these two fugitives continue to stay in the UK as the government has not provided a timeline to their extradition.
Other than these fugitives, the world leaders discussed the COVID-19 situation and ongoing cooperation in the fight against the pandemic, including the successful partnership on vaccines.
Prime Minister Modi thanked Prime Minister Johnson for the prompt medical assistance provided by the UK in the wake of the severe second wave of COVID-19 in India. Prime Minister Johnson appreciated India’s role in extending assistance to the UK and other countries over the last year, including by way of supply of pharmaceuticals and vaccines.
The two Prime Ministers launched an ‘Enhanced Trade Partnership’ (ETP) to unleash the trade potential between both economies and by setting an ambitious target of more than doubling bilateral trade by 2030. As part of the ETP, India and the UK agreed on a roadmap to negotiate a comprehensive and balanced FTA, including consideration of an Interim Trade Agreement for delivering early gains. The enhanced trade partnership between India and UK will generate several thousands of direct and indirect jobs in both countries.