India will invest more than £1 billion in the UK that will create or safeguard 5,750 British jobs, as part of a new partnership forged during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit as the two sides signed a wide range of MoUs, agreements and initiatives across technology, trade and investment.
The British government yesterday announced a new India-UK trade partnership after Prime Minister Modi held talks with his British counterpart Theresa May.
The UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) said a range of new Indian investments worth more than £1 billion will create or safeguard 5,750 British jobs for the economy as part of the new partnership, which builds on the recommendations of the Joint Trade Review (JTR) between the two countries which concluded earlier this year.
“Removing barriers to trade is a key way in which the UK can capitalise on the predicted growth in world markets and so I’m delighted we have come to this new trade partnership with India,” said Liam Fox, UK international trade secretary.
“It is clear that the opportunities for growth in trade with India are plenty, and as an international economic department we will continue to use tools such as trade missions not only to boost UK exports, but also to help businesses of all sizes forge ties and build cultivate relationships with potential buyers and investors,” he said.
According to DIT figures, total trade in goods and services between the UK and India was £18 billion in 2017, a 15 per cent increase from 2016.
UK exports to India, led by innovative machinery and mechanical appliances, form a large part of this trade basket, increasing significantly by 14.9 per cent.
The new partnership will seek to improve the accessibility of trade for businesses in both countries, as the UK gets ready to leave the European Union (EU).
Focussing on the three key sectors of life sciences, information technology (IT) and food and drink, the partnership will seek to reduce barriers to trade with an eye on Brexit.
The UK also intends to recruit a British cyber security industry expert to be based at the high commission in New Delhi, with a remit to share British expertise and connecting Indian private and public sector organisations with cutting-edge UK companies who can supply their specific requirements.
“The visit of Prime Minister Modi will see the launch of a package of technical assistance to help India climb further up the rankings for ease of doing business, benefitting UK companies and the Indian economy alike. Additionally, the two countries have also agreed to strengthen ties between their respective agriculture industries,” the DIT statement said.
Areas of collaboration
Meanwhile, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and techUK have set up the UK — India Tech Alliance, which will facilitate collaboration on building future skills in new technologies by nurturing a solid skills base in the UK and India, with the support of both the governments.
The UK and India also announced the Technology Summit II, which will be held in autumn 2018 to bring together the greatest UK and Indian tech innovators, scientists, entrepreneurs and policy makers to work together to scope and design solutions to challenges including the governance of future tech.
India and the UK have also agreed to an overarching cyber-relationship framework that among others enables the development of a common and shared understanding of international cyber activity and discuss and share strategies to promote user confidence in the security of Information and communication technology (ICT) products and services.
On rejuvenation of River Ganga, an MoU has been signed between National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC), UK.
In the area of regulation of safe nuclear energy use for peaceful purposes, an arrangement has been arrived at between Atomic Energy Regulatory Board of India (AERB) and the Office for Nuclear Regulation of Great Britain (ONR).
Information exchange on crime
Recognising the increased threat posed by international criminality because of its increasingly complex nature and the threat posed by organised crime, an MoU on ‘Exchange of Information for the Purposes of Combating International Criminality and Tackling Serious Organised Crime’ has been signed.
The UK has announced setting up a Fast Track Mechanism to identify and resolve specific issues faced by Indian companies who are either in the UK or looking to establish operations in the UK.
The UK announced the creation of a UK-India Tech Hub based in the British High Commission in New Delhi. The Tech Hub will include a network of people and programmes designed to facilitate ideas, investment and prosperity for India and the UK.
The UK and India will take forward a dialogue under the Joint Working Group on Trade, which will support a shared commitment to the global rules-based system and to the WTO’s role in underpinning it.
The UK and India announced a mechanism to support Indian investments into the UK.
The two nations said that this commitment will ensure continued application to the UK of EU-India Agreements during the Implementation Period following the UK’s departure from the EU, and put in place arrangements to replicate relevant EU-India agreements beyond this period.
The UK signed the Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance and became the 62nd signatory member country.