London, Nov 13 (IANS) The following is the full text of the joint statement issued by India and Britain on Thursday, the first day of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day visit to Britain:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister David Cameron met in London on 12-13 November. The two Prime Ministers celebrated the growing strength, breadth and depth of the relations between the two countries. They emphasised that this enduring connection between the UK and India plays a vital role in safeguarding and promoting the security and prosperity of both peoples. India’s economic development and rise as a global power affords opportunities to further deepen and extend this partnership to foster economic growth and inclusive development, update and strengthen the rules based international system, and counter global threats.
The two Prime Ministers endorsed a “Vision Statement” setting out the fundamental principles on which the UK-India partnership is built, and outlining a roadmap for deepening co-operation. They resolved to hold biennial PM-level summits to advance the partnership. They also resolved to agree on a new Defence and International Security Partnership which will intensify cooperation on defence and security, including cyber-security, counter-terrorism and maritime security.
Noting that addressing climate change and promoting secure, affordable and sustainable supplies of energy are shared strategic priorities for India and the UK, they agreed to endorse a Joint Statement on Energy and Climate Change. The two Prime Ministers also agreed to scale up bilateral cooperation to a global partnership for development through a “Statement of Intent on Partnership for Cooperation in Third Countries” which will facilitate working together to benefit third country partners by assisting them in addressing their development challenges in a wholly demand driven manner.
A Global Partnership
The two Prime Ministers noted that in an increasingly complex and interconnected world, deepening the already close partnership on global issues would be vital for safeguarding and promoting prosperity and security.
They agreed that this prosperity and security rests on an international system of rules, widely accepted and consistently applied. The international architecture built 70 years ago has played an invaluable role in securing the space for transformational development. Since the world has changed, this rules-based international system should adapt and renew itself. Prime Minister Cameron reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to a reformed United Nations Security Council with India as a Permanent Member, and to enhancing India’s voice in international financial institutions. Both Prime Ministers underscored the importance they attach to the G20. They agreed to remain engaged closely with each other and with other G20 members to realize the full potential of the G20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation as well as for successful outcomes at the G20 Summits.
The UK and India share interests in stability and prosperity across Asia and the Indian Ocean. Taking into account India’s geostrategic location and interests in the South Asian region, the two Prime Ministers resolved to deepen and extend existing bilateral consultation and cooperation in these areas through the establishment of an annual senior official South Asia dialogue covering security including terrorism, connectivity, and maritime issues.
The leaders condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and directed their relevant officials to have close and regular consultations on UN terrorist designations. They reiterated their call for Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai to justice.
The two Prime Ministers stressed the importance of a lasting and inclusive constitutional settlement in Nepal that will address the remaining areas of concern and promote political stability and economic growth. They hoped the National Reconstruction Authority begins to function as soon as possible to facilitate post earthquake reconstruction. They also hoped that, following the recent UN Human Rights Council Resolution, Sri Lanka will now be able to deliver lasting peace and prosperity for all its people and underlined their commitment to working with the Sri Lankan Government to achieve this. They emphasised the importance of a stable and inclusive democracy in the Maldives including an independent judiciary.
The two Prime Ministers emphasised their shared commitment and support for a stable, secure and successful future for a sovereign, democratic and united Afghanistan. They emphasised the importance of a sustainable and inclusive political order in Afghanistan which ensures that the gains of the past decade are consolidated and remain irreversible.
The two Prime Ministers stressed the need for inclusive political settlements in Syria and Iraq and committed to further support the victims in these brutal conflicts. They agreed to continue to hold regular annual senior officials dialogue on West Asia/Middle East, as a priority area for both countries.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the historic agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme, and noted the strong commitment of the international community to its swift and full implementation.
The two Prime Ministers agreed that the only way to de-escalate the crisis in eastern Ukraine was the full implementation of the Minsk measures by all parties to the agreement.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda aTransforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ and committed to supporting its implementation. They recognized that the new 2030 Agenda along with the Sustainable Development Goals has poverty eradication as its overarching focus.
The two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction, the progress made at the 2015 India-UK Cyber Dialogue. They supported an open, inclusive, transparent, and multi-stakeholder system of internet governance and welcomed the ongoing review of the World Summit on the Information Society by the United Nations General Assembly. They planned to work together to promote cyber security, combat cyber crime, and advance voluntary norms of responsible state behaviour and the application of international law in cyberspace.
They agreed to improve cooperation between their technical, law enforcement, cyber R&D, cyber security standards & testing and capacity building institutions. They also agreed to promote public-private partnerships to support all aspects of cyber security. They welcomed the 2015 report of the UN Group of Governmental Experts on international cyber security and looked forward to seeking broader agreement on principles guiding state behaviour in cyberspace. They also expressed the need for both India and UK to participate and actively cooperate in these areas in the future.
The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring that the Commonwealth remains relevant, realises its potential, and brings strong values, development and prosperity to all its citizens.
The two Prime Ministers noted the importance of preserving the environment and sustaining diverse ecosystems, and recognised the rise of international criminal networks engaged in the illegal wildlife trade. They resolved to work together to combat the illegal wildlife trade and to improve protection for both captive and wild Asian elephants. India endorsed the London Declaration and Kasane Statement on Illegal Wildlife Trade.
Economic Development and Finance
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the strengthening economic outlook in both the UK and India but shared their concern that global growth is falling short of expectations and that the risks to the global outlook have increased. They agreed to continue working towards strong, sustainable and balanced growth, and agreed on the importance of structural reforms and pursuing credible fiscal policies in order to raise living standards.
They hailed the strength of the economic partnership between India and the UK: India already invests more in the UK than in the rest of the EU combined, and the UK is the largest G20 investor in India. They committed to further strengthening the economic relationship, including through deepening the bilateral trade and investment relationship, and agreed that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will drive this forward in their forthcoming Economic and Financial Dialogue.
The UK and India remain committed to working together to substantially increase trade and investment opportunities. The two governments underlined the particular importance of the information technology and digital industries in both countries, and the contribution that they make towards strengthening trade ties between the UK and India as a key driver of growth and prosperity. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to work together to deepen and reinforce bilateral trade in goods and services in this area. Acknowledging the valuable contributions made by skilled workers to both countries’ economies, they agreed to facilitate the temporary movement of skilled personnel in accordance with applicable international commitments.
The two Prime Ministers agreed that the City of London should play an important role in channelling investment into infrastructure projects in India including in the railways sector, laying the foundation for a long-term strategic partnership that leverages the capital and expertise of the City of London to finance India’s continued rapid growth. In this context, they also welcomed the announcements by HDFC, Bharti Airtel, State Bank of India and Yes Bank to raise finance through the City of London which also opens up the opportunity for the Indian private sector to raise capital for their investment and growth.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed a long-term strategic partnership between India and the UK on the former’s flagship infrastructure investment initiative, the National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF), and announced the setting up of a India-UK partnership fund under the umbrella of the NIIF. The collaboration will help bring global investors through the City of London to help finance Indian infrastructure in a sustainable way, further supporting India’s rapid growth.
Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Cameron welcomed the ongoing collaboration by the India-UK Financial Partnership led by key industry figures on both sides. They look forward to considering the Partnership’s proposals for deepening the links between the two countries’ financial services. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the creation of a new Chevening Financial Services course, sponsored by Standard Chartered, aimed at mid-career professionals wanting to study in the UK. They also welcomed the initiative taken to launch the first-ever exchange programme between the economic services of our two countries to support economic policy making in both countries.
The two Prime Ministers agreed that India’s huge achievements in economic growth and inclusive development are not just important for India’s own ambitious goals and targets, but an inspiration to the world and critical to the achievement of global targets. They recognised that both India and the UK are thought leaders on development, and agreed to elevate the official-level development talks to a Biennial Ministerial dialogue on Development.
The two Prime Ministers recognised the importance of infrastructure for sustainable development and launched India’s first Low Income State Infrastructure Equity Partnership with co-investment from the UK Department of International Development and the State Bank of India. This aims to provide equity partnerships for small infrastructure development in sectors like water & sanitation, clean energy and urban infrastructure.
Prime Minister Modi noted the partnership of UK and India in efforts to improve the Ease of Doing Business. They announced a new Ease of Doing Business Partnership including several different strands of work which will provide impetus to greater investments.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the first meeting of the reconstituted India-UK CEOs Forum. This Forum will be tasked with advising the Prime Ministers about the trade and investment opportunities and challenges. Prime Minister Cameron welcomed a new fast track mechanism by DIPP for UK investments into and trade with India.
The two Prime Ministers acknowledged the need for technical cooperation between the offices of both the countries on Patents, Trademarks and Designs.
Prime Minister Modi appreciated the advances made by UK in rail project management and operations. The two Leaders welcomed the MoU on Technical Co-operation in the Rail sector and acknowledged the potential business opportunities for the rail industry. Both sides agreed to encourage their institutions to work together, develop options for infrastructure financing, share knowledge and expertise and to deepen research and development exchanges. Prime Minister Modi announced the Government of India’s intention to launch the first government-backed rupee bond in London.
The two leaders expressed their wish to promote innovation led growth in the automotive sector in India. They identified a need to collaborate and exchange technical knowledge in research and development, testing and administration of testing systems for vehicles. The UK and India are willing to share expertise in these fields to develop knowledge and experience. This will be achieved through an MoU to be signed between appropriate departments and agencies under the Government of India and UK.
Prime Minister Cameron and Prime Minister Modi recognised the importance of the multilateral, rules-based trading system, and agreed to work together to help ensure a successful outcome at the Nairobi World Trade Organisation Ministerial in December, in conformity with the development mandate of the Doha Development Agenda.
The UK and India agree that corruption is one of the greatest enemies of progress in our time. Both sides will work together, bilaterally and in multilateral fora like UNCAC and G20, in order to strengthen the global response to corruption, including through improving cooperation among law enforcement agencies, strengthening procedures for the identification and return of stolen assets, and increasing transparency around the true (or “beneficial”) ownership and control of companies.
Both Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to finalisation of an EU-India BTIA as soon as possible. The UK and India committed to work closely together towards this end.
Make in India
Prime Minister Cameron welcomed Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. Prime Minister Modi noted that this model of collaboration was already deeply ingrained in UK investments and partnerships with India. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the initiatives taken by both sides to deepen defence technology and industry cooperation.
Prime Ministers Cameron and Modi noted the deep and fruitful business relationship between the UK and India and welcomed the $9.2 Billion of commercial deals between the UK and India announced during the visit and listed in the annex. The UK has accounted for 8.56 percent of total foreign direct investment in India during the last 15 years. Indian companies employ 110,000 people in the UK.
Prime Minister Cameron noted the opening of the Indian market to greater foreign direct investment in the insurance sector. In order to extend insurance cover to India’s large population, the Government has increased the FDI limit in insurance and pension sector to 49%. As a result, the UK’s insurance industry with joint ventures in India, have announced a number of agreements to increase their Foreign Direct Investment in the country. These agreements would amount to approximately A¿238 million of Foreign Direct Investment in the first instance subject to regulatory approvals. This will support the ongoing development of the Indian insurance and reinsurance sectors, which are key elements in promoting sustainable economic growth.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed HSBC’s “Skills for life” initiative in India, a A¿10 million programme to skill 75,000 disadvantaged young people and children over 5 years.
Smart Cities and Urban Renewal
The two Prime Ministers announced three UK-India city partnerships with Indore, Pune and Amaravati to support India’s ambitious urban development goals through technical assistance, expertise sharing and business engagement.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the development of Technical Assistance partnership between the UK Department of International Development and the Indian Ministry of Urban Development for national and state-led support for the development of smart and sustainable cities that are drivers of inclusive growth and job creation.
The two Prime Ministers launched a new Thames/Ganga partnership for healthy river systems. This partnership will consist of a collaborative programme of research and innovation to enable the sustainable management of water resources in the Ganga basin and a policy expert exchange in 2016 supported by the UK Water Partnership.
Education, Skills, Science and Research
Prime Minister Cameron offered to support Prime Minister Modi achieve his goal of preparing young Indians for the 21st Century. Under the new UK-India Skills pledge, 11 UK companies have committed to support skills development in India. Together, the UK government and UK businesses will establish new “Centres of Excellence” in key sectors, starting with a centre for Automotive and Advanced Engineering in Pune. The UK will also support the Indian Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to develop new models of skills training and entrepreneurship with a focus on digital delivery, women, the excluded and the disabled.
The two Prime Ministers announced that 2016 would be the UK-India year of Education, Research and Innovation. This will highlight the strengths of the bilateral relationship, drive further collaboration, including a range of digital technology enabled education and training initiatives, so that both countries create a new 21st century framework as partners in education, research and innovation partners, in the global context.
Both Prime Ministers agreed to initiate virtual partnerships at the school level to enable young people of either country to experience the school system of the other country and develop an understanding of the culture, traditions and social and family systems.
The Prime Ministers announced that UK will be the partner country for the 2016 Technology Summit in Delhi. Committed to promote further joint research partnerships, the two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction, the planned academic exchange which would enable access for Indian scientists to the Neutron Facility at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxford University. They welcomed the establishment of a Newton-Bhabha fund for joint research, capacity building and translation, noting that joint investment in UK-India research has grown from less than $1 million in 2008 to over $200 million today. New substantial investments include multi-million-pound UK-India virtual centres in Clean Energy, Water Security and Agricultural Nitrogen. The two Prime Ministers also welcomed new joint research and innovation programmes on Childhood and Maternal Health and Nutrition, Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Urbanisation and Heritage, Sustainable Water Resources for Food, Energy and Ecosystem Services, Atmospheric Pollution and Human Health in an Indian Megacity, Aquaculture, and the joint UK-India observational campaign on the South Asian Monsoon.
They welcomed the announcement by Innovate UK, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA), of the opening of a third round of collaborative industrial R&D, making up to $3.5 million available to support novel commercial solutions in the areas of clean-tech energy, affordable healthcare and ICT related to clean-tech energy and healthcare.
The two Prime Ministers recognized that climate change and its impact on agriculture was a serious challenge confronting the world; they welcomed establishing the joint India-UK collaboration in crop sciences which will bring together the best UK universities — Cambridge University, National Institute of Agricultural Botany, John Innes Centre, Rothamsted Research and University of East Anglia to work through Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Government of UK and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India to address fundamental plant science underpinning yield enhancement, disease and drought resistance and translation of research into sustainable agriculture. They also welcomed establishing of a joint Indo-UK Plant Science Centre in India.
The two Leaders welcomed UK’s plans to send 100 academics to India over the next two academic years as part of the Global Initiative for Academics Network (GIAN); and the ambition for 25,000 UK students to come to India through the Generation UK-India programme by 2020, including 1000 UK interns with Tata Consultancy Services in India by 2020. The two Prime Ministers also welcomed the 3rd phase of the UK India Education and Research Initiative.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the commitment to achieving mutual recognition of UK and Indian qualifications.
The two Prime Ministers were also happy to announce the setting up of joint India-UK Vaccine Development collaboration between the Department of Biotechnology and Research Councils, UK. The Department of Biotechnology would also work with Research Councils to establish a strategic group which would explore the mechanisms to develop the evidence base which would address anti-microbial resistance at the genomic level of the host-pathogen interactions to accelerate the development of new drugs and diagnostics.
The two Prime Ministers underlined their joint determination to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR), noting that it poses a grave public health and economic threat to both countries. Both Prime Ministers recognised that a global response is required and supported a high level meeting on antimicrobial resistance at the 2016 UN General Assembly. India and the UK will also contribute their scientific expertise to a global summit to be held in London in 2016 as part of the AMR initiative of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India and the Research Councils, Government of UK.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the cooperation in the health sector between the two countries and the on-going Memorandum of Understanding covering areas including Medical Education and Training, Universal Health Coverage, containment of Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR), improving patient safety through quality, safe and efficacious drugs and the collaboration between NICE International, UK and the Department of Health Research in India on medical technology assessment.
The two Prime Ministers emphasised the potential increased investment and co-operation in health and related sectors. Prime Minister Cameron welcomed the decision of the Indian Government to set up a taskforce under the stewardship of the Department of Health and Family Welfare to facilitate such investment. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the agreement signed between King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Indo UK Healthcare Pvt Ltd to open King’s College Hospital, Chandigarh.
The two Prime Ministers noted the finalisation of a Memorandum of Understanding between Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India and a leading UK institute for Integrated Medicine to strengthen and develop cooperation in the field of research and education in this area.
The two Prime Ministers announced that a UK-India Year of Culture will be organised in 2017 to celebrate our deep cultural ties and the 70th anniversary of Indian Independence.
The two Prime Ministers committed support to the digitisation of the shared archival collections housed in the British Library and the National Archives of India.
Both Prime Ministers welcomed the posthumous reinstatement of Shyamji Krishna Varma to the bar, noting his key role in the Indian independence movement and the inspiration he has provided to subsequent generations.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the intention of the Indian Ministry of Tourism and the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism to promote safe and sustainable tourism between the two countries.
Prime Minister Cameron and Prime Minister Modi noted that in an increasingly complex and interconnected world, enhancing cooperation to target criminals across borders will be critical for guaranteeing the security and safety of both nations. They agreed to work together to disrupt the flow of New Psychoactive Substances that harm both countries and to open the door for further negotiations on criminal record exchange to ensure greater collaboration between law enforcement agencies in both India and the UK.
Prime Minister Cameron and Prime Minister Modi reiterated their determination to enhance cooperation in the area of Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, particularly where it is related to terrorism cases.
The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed the importance of co-operation to tackle the trafficking of stolen artefacts/antiquities.
Prime Minister Modi thanked Prime Minister Cameron for the warm hospitality extended to him and his delegation and invited Prime Minister Cameron to visit India in 2016. The two leaders affirmed their vision of a forward-looking partnership between the UK and India that would play an indispensable role in creating economic growth, jobs and security for the people of both countries. They reaffirmed their commitment to working together to build such an enhanced and transformative partnership for the betterment of their two countries and the world.