LONDON, UK - Britain and India entered into a range of agreements on Wednesday to solidify their relationship and promote investment in each other's economies.
The move comes as the United States and India too strengthen their Indian ties.
The UK agreements are centered on financial services, infrastructure and sustainable finance .
The landmark tenth Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) brought together the British Chancellor, Rishi Sunak (pictured), and the Indian Minister of Finance, Nirmala Sitharaman, in a landmark meeting to build and expand economic ties between the two countries.
The UK and India have a strong investment relationship, with UK and Indian investments supporting over half a million jobs in each other's economies. More than 800 Indian companies operate in the UK, employing more than 110,000 people.
"The UK's economic and financial relationship with India has never been more important with the global challenges we face," Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said Wednesday.
"Today we set out our ambition for even stronger ties, with an agreement that will increase investment, and create and secure jobs in the UK."
"We are also committed to working together to lead the global economic recovery as we build back better after the pandemic," the chancellor added.
Agreements reached on Wednesday include:
- a new UK-India Partnership on Infrastructure Policy and Financing which will help to open up infrastructure opportunities in India to UK commercial expertise and financing.
- strengthening cooperation on mobilising private capital into green investment, including through a new UK-India Sustainable Finance Forum, and greening the financial system
- a fresh mandate for the industry-led India-UK Financial Partnership to explore closer financial ties in areas including FinTech
- creating a new Financial Markets Dialogue to remove regulatory and market access barriers for UK and Indian firms
- a new partnership in Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City, India's flagship new international financial centre, which will create opportunities for UK firms
- joint investment in research collaborations worth up to £8 million to understand the impact of Covid in South Asian populations in the UK and India
During the talks, the chancellor pressed for measures to help the UK financial services industry win more business in India and said he welcomed the decision to allow Indian companies to list on the London Stock Exchange the UK being one of only seven jurisdictions permitted.
Ministers also agreed to explore ways to boost investment in insurance through an increase in India's foreign investment limit.
Alongside the EFD, the chancellor addressed industry leaders at the UK-India Investing for Growth Forum hosted virtually by the City of London Corporation and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The chancellor highlighted what he described as the enormous potential for the UK and India to work together to drive green sustainable finance flows and generate even stronger bilateral investment.
India is now the UK's second largest source of investment with 120 new projects in 2019-20.
Indian investment in the UK is focused on technology, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing, including electric vehicles at Jaguar Land Rover's Castle Bromwich plant in the West Midlands.