PM Modi, British counterpart Sunak review bilateral strategic ties

HIROSHIMA, May 21: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said he held a very fruitful meeting with his British counterpart Rishi Sunak during which they reviewed bilateral strategic partnership, including progress in the India-UK FTA negotiations.
The two leaders also agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation across a wide range of areas such as trade and investment and science and technology.
Modi and Sunak met on the sidelines of the summit of the G7 advanced economies here in Hiroshima.
“The meeting with PM @RishiSunak was a very fruitful one. We discussed boosting cooperation in trade, innovation, science and other such sectors.” Prime Minister Modi tweeted.
The two leaders reviewed their Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, including taking stock of progress in India-UK free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
They agreed to deepen cooperation across a wide range of areas, such as trade & investment, science & technology, higher education, and people-to-people relationship, it said.
Discussions also took place on India’s ongoing G-20 Presidency. Prime Minister Modi looked forward to welcoming Sunak in New Delhi for the G-20 Summit, the statement said.
India and the UK have been negotiating an FTA since January last year, with a goal towards a comprehensive pact that is expected to significantly enhance the bilateral trading relationship worth an estimated 34 billion pounds in 2022.
The two nations last month concluded the ninth round of FTA negotiations with detailed discussions across a range of policy areas.
Recently, Britain’s Chief Negotiator for the FTA – Harjinder Kang – was appointed the country’s new Trade Commissioner to South Asia and Deputy High Commissioner for Western India, based in Mumbai.
According to official UK government statistics, India was the UK’s 12th largest trading partner in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2022, accounting for 2.1 per cent of total UK trade.
The two leaders shared a tight hug before their talks.
Modi arrived in Hiroshima on Friday to attend three sessions at the G7 summit following an invitation by Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida. (PTI)

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