The two leaders also welcomed the signing of the India-UK Migration and Mobility Partnership (MMP).
India on Tuesday reaffirmed the need for an international partnership to deal with the pandemic and called for closer trade cooperation with the UK. This intention was expressed during the virtual summit meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson, which took place hours after a number of Indian companies, including the Serum Institute of India, have pledged to invest heavily for the UK after Brexit.
“The two leaders stressed that global cooperation and solidarity are essential to fight the pandemic and achieve sustainable and inclusive recovery. They agreed to expand and enhance the existing UK-India vaccine partnership, highlighting the successful collaboration between Oxford University, Astra Zeneca and the Serum Institute of India on an effective vaccine. against Covid19 which is ‘developed in the UK’, ‘made in India’ and ‘distributed around the world’, ”said a joint statement released after the virtual meeting between the two Prime Ministers .
The declaration to “expand” the India-UK vaccine partnership came hours after several large Indian companies pledged to make major financial investments in the UK. Prime Minister Johnson on Monday announced a series of trade and investment deals aimed at creating 6,500 jobs in his country. The biggest deal announced is that of the Serum Institute of India (SII), which has pledged a £ 240million investment to expand its vaccines business in the UK. In total, Prime Minister Johnson declared £ 1 billion in trade and investment deals between the two sides, which also included software giant Infosys.
The Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom and India announced that the two sides will negotiate a comprehensive free trade agreement that will double bilateral trade by 2030. The two sides also discussed the conclusion of a trade agreement interim to ensure “quick wins” from trade. The two sides also agreed to deepen defense ties with a renewed focus on the Indo-Pacific region as part of the India-UK partnership for international defense and security. They also confirmed plans for the new logistics MoU. “When the British Carrier Strike Group deploys to the Indian Ocean region in 2021, they agreed to hold joint exercises that will deepen cooperation in a region of critical strategic importance to both countries,” the statement said. joint.
The two delegations also spoke of the ongoing violence in Afghanistan, where a difficult peace negotiation between the government of President Ghani and the Taliban is blocked. They decided that the solution to the civil war in Afghanistan must not jeopardize the progress made in the field of civil liberty and women’s rights in Afghanistan over the previous two decades. The two sides agreed to work together to ensure “a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire leading to lasting peace”. India and the UK underscored the common intention to maintain a “rules-based” international order for the Indo-Pacific region that will ensure the free passage of ships and aircraft.
The two leaders also welcomed the signing of the India-UK Migration and Mobility Partnership (MMP) which aims to reduce illegal immigration to the UK. The issue of illegal immigration has been a sticking point between the two sides for years. However, it is understood that the MMP will help genuine immigrants and students and reduce immigration crimes.