India - UK relations given a boost
Calling the Indian Prime Minister his “khaas dost” (special friend), visiting British Prime Minister said that they have asked negotiators to reach an agreement on a Free Trade Agreement “by Diwali” this year.
- In the backdrop of the rapid geopolitical turmoil, Prime Minister and his British counterpart signed a new and expanded India-U.K. defence partnership and vowed to seal an ambitious free trade agreement by the end of the year.
- Both sides agreed to work together to meet new threats across land, sea, air space and cyber domains and the U.K. will partner with India on new fighter jet technology as well as in the maritime sphere to detect and respond to threats.
- The U.K. will also issue an Open General Export Licence (OGEL) to support greater defence and security collaboration in the coming decade.
- The OGEL will reduce bureaucratic interference and shorten delivery time for India’s defence procurement.
- This is the first British OGEL in the Indo-Pacific region.
- On Indo-Pacific, Indian PM emphasised on maintaining a free, open, inclusive and rules-based order in the region and noted that India welcomed the U.K.’s decision to join the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative.
India-UK Global Innovation Partnership (GIP)
- Both leaders welcomed its finalisation implementation arrangements for trilateral development cooperation
- India and UK to co-finance up to USD 100 million over 14 years to support the transfer and scale up of climate-smart inclusive innovations from India to third countries in Asia, Africa and Indo-Pacific and accelerate the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals.
- This will further strengthen development partnership with other countries.
- These will also help in achieving sustainable development goals, and in efforts to tackle climate change.
- This will prove to be very useful for our start-ups and MSME sector in exploring new markets, and in making their innovations global.
USD 1 billion public finance through British International Investment (BII)
- Indian PM welcomed UK’s commitment to public finance to the tune of USD 1 billion investment through British International Investment (BII) (previously CDC Group), the UK’s Development Finance Institution, into climate related projects in India over the period 2022-2026.
India-UK Green Growth Equity Fund
- They expressed satisfaction at the success of India-UK Green Growth Equity Fund anchored by India’s National Investment & Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), in mobilising additional USD 425 million to support green infrastructure projects in India.
- Also agreed to build on ten years of successful collaboration under India-UK development capital investment partnerships
- Looked forward to finalising the mutual recognition of qualifications and a framework for nursing staff and agreed to continue cooperation on outstanding areas related to social security arrangements and legal services.
- Both sides specifically highlighted the successful India-UK collaborations between GIFT City (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City, India’s first International Financial Service Centre) and the UK’s financial services ecosystem and agreed to develop greater linkages between the two countries’ financial markets.
- Also noted the successful resolution of recent taxation issues as a positive step to further strengthen investor confidence on both sides.
- The two countries discussed new cooperation on clean and renewable energy, aimed at supporting India’s energy transition away from imported oil and increasing its resilience through secure and sustainable energy, and addressing climate change in both the UK and India.
- The UK and India are launching a virtual Hydrogen Science and Innovation hub to accelerate affordable green hydrogen, as well as new funding for the Green Grids Initiative announced at COP26, and collaboration on joint work on the electrification of public transport across India.
- Boosting our domestic energy and economic resilience, the UK and India are collaborating as a force for good globally.
- Both governments are committing up to £75 million to roll out adaptable cleantech innovations from India to the wider Indo-Pacific and Africa, and working together on international development and girls education.
- India-UK Green Growth Equity Fund
- India-UK Global Innovation Partnership (GIP)
- Open General Export Licence
Q. India and UK have shared a long history since the time immemorial. Discuss how the relations have improved over the recent pasts and also mention some major cooperations signed between the 2 nations.