Foreign Minister Dominic Raab gave a press conference in Delhi with Indian Foreign Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar made an opening statement on his quest for a closer relationship between Britain and India.
Hello, thank you for joining us and Minister Jaishankar for your warm welcome here in Delhi.
First of all, can I say what great admiration I have for this country?. You are the greatest democracy in the world.
The country with one of the most scientists and engineers, a technology leader, a market leader for solar and wind energy and a large presence on the global stage.
It is a great pleasure for us to work with Dr. Jaishankar to be here and discuss our mutual plans for an even closer relationship in the future.
We have agreed on the key elements of a 10 year roadmap between the UK and India so that we can gradually change the ambitions for relations between our two countries.
We look forward to moving this forward in 2021 – also through the UK Presidency of the G7 and also through our Presidency of the UN Climate Change Conference, and as we see and welcome, India is returning to the UN Security Council.
With that in mind, I am delighted that Prime Minister Johnson has invited Prime Minister Modi to join next year’s G7 Summit in the UK. Prime Minister Johnson has also gratefully accepted the very generous invitation to attend the Indian Republic Day celebration in January, which is a great honor.
I think we share the conviction that we can work even more together on our common priorities in the months and years to come.
First of all, we would like to deepen our economic partnership. We already have a strong and growing trade relationship. In the year before the pandemic, India-UK bilateral trade grew a whopping 11%.
Our investment relationships support over half a million jobs in each other’s economies – including many UK jobs in technology and telecommunications.
Now we want to take this to another level and work towards agreeing a stronger trading partnership next year. We hope that this itself will be a stepping stone to a future free trade agreement.
I think this could open tremendous opportunities for UK and Indian businesses, breaking down barriers in areas like food and drink, healthcare and life sciences, IT, data, chemicals and financial services. I think there are some exciting opportunities ahead of us.
Second, we are committed to a stronger defense and security partnership with our Indian friends.
This will help us address common problems such as terrorism and maritime security – including piracy in the western Indian Ocean.
It will also help us respond to the new and emerging challenges like space and cybersecurity.
We want to work together to make sure our telecommunications networks, our 5G networks, are more secure and resilient.
We recognize India’s global leadership in this area through the International Solar Alliance and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.
As the host of the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow next year, we will also play a leading role ourselves. We want an ambitious result that will really help bring climate change under control.
India has made real strides in renewable energy. We want to further expand our international partnership in this area.
Finally, I would like to mention that we want to deepen our partnerships in the fields of education, research and innovation.
Our countries are both leaders in these areas. It’s an area of complementarity, but also of comparative advantage, and I think there is a lot of scope for further cooperation in an international environment.
In the UK we warmly welcome thousands of Indian students and academics to the UK each year.
You make an incredible contribution to our country and we feel like very valued guests and appreciate the contribution that you make.
Oxford University, AstraZeneca and the Serum Institute India worked closely together. And the institute now plans to produce a billion doses of the Oxford vaccine by the end of next year, many of which are for low- and middle-income countries.
That’s Britain and India working together to change the lives of people around the world. Not only do we want to use these vaccines for our own people, but we also want to ensure that the world’s most vulnerable and poorest countries are given equitable distribution and access.
In these and many other areas, our partnership can be a driving force for the whole world.
It is for this reason that a closer relationship with India and the entire Indo-Pacific region is one of the UK government’s top political priorities.
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India, Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth and Development, Narendra Modi, Republic Day
World News – UK – Statement by Foreign Minister during visit to India: Tuesday 15. December
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