Modi assured Theresa May on infusing new energy into post-Brexit bilateral ties

Vastavam web: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today assured his British counterpart Theresa May that the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union offers opportunities to “further increase” bilateral trade ties as the two leaders had “fruitful discussions” on multiple aspects of India-UK relations and issues like counter-terrorism, radicalisation and online extremism.Modi, who arrived at 10 Downing Street for a breakfast meeting, was greeted with the customary handshake by May. “Very welcome to London, Prime Minister,” May said as she greeted Modi.

Both leaders discussed ways to boost cooperation between India and UK.Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the two leaders had wide-ranging talks on redefining and infusing new energy into the bilateral engagement post-Brexit. Brexit refers to the UK’s decision in a June 23, 2016 referendum to leave the 28-nation European Union (EU).”Prime Minister Modi said there would be no dilution in the importance of the UK to India post-Brexit. He said the City of London was of great importance to India for accessing the global markets and would remain so,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.

“The Prime Minister (May) updated Prime Minister Modi on the progress of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, saying the implementation period agreed in March gives Indian companies and investors the confidence that market access will continue on current terms until the end of 2020,” the spokesperson said.”They reflected on the progress made on bilateral defence and security cooperation since the Prime Minister’s visit to India in 2016 and the agreement to a number of Defence Capability Partnerships in key strategic areas, with closer military-to-military ties underpinned by a succession of high level visits and exchanges,” Downing Street said.

During a discussion on cooperation between the two countries on legal matters, which is likely to have covered extradition matters, May also welcomed the return to the UK of the “Chennai Six”, the former British soldiers accused of piracy who were freed from an Indian jail last year.May and Modi discussed a new UK-India Tech Partnership, which will create thousands of jobs and generate significant investment in both our economies. Looking ahead at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) tomorrow, they also agreed on the importance of working together to build a more “sustainable, prosperous, secure and fairer future” for all Commonwealth citizens.

A “flash mob” of sari-clad women from Indian Ladies in UK, accompanied by dhols, had gathered outside Downing Street to welcome the Indian PM with banners such as “In India, Peace is always in Fashion”.The event, hosted by Prince Charles, include the launch of a new Ayurvedic Centre of Excellence, aimed at creating a first-of-its-kind global network for evidence-based research on yoga and Ayurveda.

“The Prince and @narendramodi watch a performance by the Akademi South Asian dance group at the @sciencemuseum,” Clarence House tweeted.It said the exhibition celebrates India’s role in the history of science and technology by exploring its contributions to subjects including space exploration and engineering.He was received at the airport by UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson, who said he was “excited” that India-UK bilateral trade is growing at 15 per cent a year and the visit will help build on “huge economic advantages”. Both leaders held a late night meeting at Heathrow airport.

According to official estimates, India-UK bilateral trade stands at USD 13 billion, with the UK among the largest G20 investors into India. Modi’s UK visit this week will have a particular focus on the India-UK technological partnership as well as an enhanced role in the Commonwealth.