UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Tuesday announced a closer collaboration with India on an 'enhanced trade partnership', which will boost bilateral trade and investment in both nations.
During his bilateral visit in New Delhi with External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr S Jaishankar, Raab said: "The UK and India have an invaluable and indispensable partnership, and we look forward to strengthening it in the years ahead. Together we can deliver an Enhanced Trade Partnership next year, combine our cyber security expertise to protect our citizens and join forces to protect global health and promote things like vaccine production." According to an official release by the British High Commission in India, the enhanced trade partnership will unlock economic benefit for the UK and India, and will boost bilateral trade and investment ahead of a future Free Trade Agreement, which already stands at almost 24 billion euros and grew by 11 per cent in the last financial year.
As a major power in the Indo-Pacific region, closer UK-India economic, scientific and security ties will boost growth and create job for Britons and Indians and bring together the expertise of both countries to advance medicine and research, according to the High Commission.
Raab also asserted the UK's ambition of a strengthened UK-India relationship over the next 10 years during his visit.
"As Climate Change Conference (COP26) President and G7 President next year we will work closely with our Indian friends, as they return to the UN Security Council, to boost trade, promote peace and work together as a force for good throughout the Indo-Pacific," he remarked.
According to the release, the UK Foreign Secretary's visit marked the latest step by the UK to build closer relationships with like-minded countries in the Indo-Pacific region, with India a key strategic partner for the UK.
The visit came ahead of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's visit to India on the occasion of Republic Day next year, and the UK's invitation to India to be a guest country at the G7 summit hosted by the former nation in 2021.
Raab will meet Prime Minister Modi on Wednesday to discuss a '10-year roadmap' for a new era in the UK-India relationship, closer collaboration on an 'enhanced trade partnership', and working together to end the COVID-19 and tackle climate change.
Raab will use his meeting with PM Modi to thank him on the issue of climate change, with India having quadrupled its wind and solar capacity in the last decade, informed the British High Commission.
He also met Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday to discuss further UK-India collaboration on climate change.
The UK Foreign Secretary also reaffirmed the HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group will visit the Indo-Pacific region next year.