India and the UK on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding on a Enhanced Trade Partnership to announce their intention to negotiate a comprehensive free trade agreement, setting an ambitious target of more than doubling bilateral trade in the nine coming years.
The memorandum of understanding was signed at the virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson who was due to travel to India for this meeting but had to cancel it after the second wave of the pandemic started to take hold. ravage the country.
The two countries also adopted a roadmap to guide cooperation over the next decade and signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Migration and Mobility Partnership to facilitate the legal movement of students and professionals and also to strengthen cooperation between India and the United Kingdom in the fight against illegal migration.
This memorandum of understanding will allow the exchange of 3,000 young professionals.
For Indian professionals, this will mean a way to take advantage of UK employment opportunities for two years without having to take the labor market test.
This memorandum of understanding was signed by the Minister of External Affairs
S. Jaishankar – who is currently visiting London – and British Home Secretary Priti Patel.
According to Patel, “this deal will also ensure that the UK government can more easily remove those who are not allowed to be in the UK and crack down on those who abuse our system.”
The issue of illegal Indian migrants in the UK has been on hold for years as India insists it cannot be satisfied with London’s claims of these individuals’ Indian backgrounds without verification , which is an arduous process here.
It was Modi’s first international engagement since the BJP’s defeat in the West Bengal Assembly elections.
Boris, who has been plagued by his own controversies, faces a political test on Thursday in local government and mayoral elections in London and many other parts of the country.
A Downing Street statement said: ‘Over the past week, UK businesses, civil society and the general public have demonstrated the strength of UK-India relations by donating much needed medical supplies to the country.
“During their call, the Prime Minister and Prime Minister Modi agreed to continue working together on our common fight against the coronavirus. They cited the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, currently produced by India’s Serum Institute, as an example of the power of UK-India cooperation.
Boris commented: “The UK and India share many core values. The UK is one of the oldest democracies and India is the largest in the world. We are both committed members of the Commonwealth.
“Over the past week, the British have multiplied by the thousands to support our Indian friends during this terrible time by demonstrating the deep connection between the UK and India.
This connection will only grow over the next decade as we do more together to tackle the world’s biggest problems and improve the lives of our people.
Today’s agreements mark the start of a new era in UK-India relations. “
The two leaders “agreed on a ‘2030 roadmap’ which will provide a framework for UK-India relations in the areas of health, climate, trade, education, science and technology and defense ”.
They intend “to deepen economic relations between the United Kingdom and India through an” enhanced trade partnership “and confirming our intention to negotiate a free trade agreement with a view to doubling trade between the United Kingdom. United and India over the next decade ”.
They also want “to increase cooperation between UK and Indian universities on crucial research in areas such as health, emerging technologies and climate science.”
They pledged to work “in parallel to combat threats to our common security in all their forms. The UK’s Carrier Strike Group will travel to India later this year to strengthen this work with our navies and air forces undertaking joint training exercises to enable future cooperation on operations in the Western Indian Ocean. “.
During their meeting, Boris and Modi “committed to working closely together to support these values”.
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