UK-India Partnership A Defining One For Our Times: Sunak

Rishi Sunak

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hailed the UK-India partnership on Wednesday, calling it "a defining one for our times,” informed an official release.

His remarks have come ahead of India Global Forum's flagship UK-India Week 2023. Praising the role of IGF in fostering closer ties between India and the United Kingdom, Sunak said the event is a catalyst for forging new trade ties.

"India Global Forum's annual UK-India Week is a highly anticipated fixture in the bilateral calendar of our two great nations. It is a catalyst for forging new trade ties, lasting collaborations and a better future for our people. I am confident this partnership will be a defining one for our times," the British PM said.

Responding to Sunak's remarks, Manoj Ladwa, founder and chairman of India Global Forum, said that given the geopolitical upheaval and economic turbulence, it is more important than ever for India and UK to forge closer ties.

"Given the geopolitical upheaval and economic turbulence around the world, I believe that it is more important now than ever before that the UK and India forge closer and deeper ties. I am therefore grateful to Prime Minister Sunak for recognising the role that IGF is playing in bringing our two great democracies closer to unlocking the true potential of the partnership," he said.

Last year, as Chancellor, while speaking at IGF's UK-India Awards, Sunak had emphasised the importance of forging a partnership of equals.

"India isn't looking to the past. And nor can we. We need to move forward. Because the UK does not have a natural right to sit at the table with one of the world's largest, fastest-growing, and most dynamic economies. We must earn it," he said.

In the backdrop to the 2030 roadmap agreed upon by both governments and the ongoing Free Trade Agreement negotiations, Prime Minister Sunak's comments are a key indicator of his ambition to transform and elevate UK-India ties, the release stated.

On the sidelines of the recent G-7 Summit in Hiroshima, Sunak and Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the comprehensive strategic partnership while taking stock of the progress in the FTA negotiations.

The British government has estimated that a trade deal could increase UK's GDP by approximately 3.3- 6.2 billion euros and India's by around 3.7-8.6 billion euros by 2035.

Keir Starmer, the leader of the labour party who will be opening UK India Week this year, said ahead of his participation, the time has now come to look to the future and work on all areas where there is scope for mutual benefit.

"I am looking forward to speaking at India Global Forum. The Labour Party has a long and strong relationship with India which I am very proud of. The time has now come to look to the future and work on how we can deepen and widen our cooperation in critical areas such as trade and investment, technology and innovation, climate action, diversity and inclusion and healthcare, the future of work, skills and education - all areas where I see huge scope for mutual benefit."

Union Minister for Power, New and Renewable Energy, RK Singh, and UK Secretary of State for Education Gillian Keegan will be among the several senior political and business figures from the UK and India participating at India Global Forum.

"India Global Forum's UK-India Week is a six-day series of events that brings together business leaders, policymakers and thought leaders from India, the UK and across the world to discuss and explore opportunities for further collaboration and growth. The event features a series of discussions, keynote speeches and exclusive networking opportunities from the 24 to 30 June 2023 in London and Windsor. Over 2000 in-person participants will attend IGF UK- India Week 2023 over 12 marque events in iconic locations," the release stated. 

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