India and the UK on Tuesday signed an Enhanced Trade Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU was signed during virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson.
- The MoU was signed to announce both the country’s intent to negotiate a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, setting an ambitious target of more than doubling bilateral trade over the next nine years.
- In line with their vision to achieve a transformational change in bilateral cooperation, both leaders also adopted the ambitious Roadmap 2030 to elevate the India-UK partnership to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
- The Roadmap will pave the way for a deeper and stronger engagement over the next ten years in the areas of people-to-people contacts, trade and economy, defence and security, climate action and health.
- The two Prime Ministers launched an ‘Enhanced Trade Partnership’ (ETP) to unleash the trade potential by setting an ambitious target of more than doubling bilateral trade by 2030.
- As part of the ETP, India and the UK agreed on a roadmap to negotiate a comprehensive and balanced FTA, including consideration of an Interim Trade Agreement for delivering early gains. The enhanced trade partnership will generate several thousands of direct and indirect jobs in both countries.
- A new India-UK ‘Global Innovation Partnership’ was announced at the Virtual Summit that aims to support the transfer of inclusive Indian innovations to select developing countries, starting with Africa.
- Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation on new and emerging technologies, including Digital and ICT products, and work on supply chain resilience.
- They also agreed to strengthen defense and security ties, including in the maritime, counter-terrorism, and cyberspace domains.
- Views on regional and global issues of mutual interest, including cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, and G7 were also exchanged by both the Prime Ministers.
- They reiterated commitment to climate action to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and agreed to closely engage in the run-up to CoP26 hosted by the UK later this year.
- MoU on Migration and Mobility Partnership to facilitate the legal movement of students and professionals and also enhance cooperation between India and the UK in combating illegal migration was also signed.