India-UK Summit talks were held in New Delhi on 19 February 2013 during the official visit to India of the British Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron, MP.
The British Prime Minister expressed his warm appreciation for the welcome extended by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the Government and people of India to him, his Ministerial colleagues, and to his delegation, which included the largest British trade delegation ever to visit India, leaders of the UK-India CEO Forum, members of Parliament, and university Vice Chancellors. During his official engagements in New Delhi, Prime Minister Cameron also called on the President of India, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, and the UPA Chairperson Ms Sonia Gandhi.
The two Prime Ministers and their colleagues reviewed the progress made since the previous Summit in 2010 on building a stronger, wider and deeper relationship across the range of India-UK interests, based on shared culture, values and strategic interests. They agreed that, while substantial progress had been made on the ambitious targets set in 2010, there was considerable potential for expanding the relationship further, in particular in the area of trade and investment, and they agreed on the importance of an approach which supported business.
Economic Growth and Cooperation
Trade between Britain and India has grown strongly since the last summit. In 2010 and 2011, trade grew an average of 23%. This year the economic climate has been tougher. But the leaders remain committed to working to substantially increase trade and investment between India and the UK.
The leaders welcomed the growth in two-way investment between India and the UK since the last Summit, which is creating jobs and growth in both countries. The UK is now the 3rd largest investor in India and India is now the 5th largest investor in the UK. The leaders welcomed major Indian investments into the UK and major UK investments into India since the last summit.
The leaders noted the signature, in October 2012, of an Amending Protocol of their Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC). This will provide tax stability to Indian and UK residents, and will facilitate mutual economic cooperation between the two countries. It will also stimulate the flow of investment, technology and services between India and the UK. Both countries are committed to the fight against tax evasion and avoidance and are strong proponents of transparency in tax matters.
The leaders met the members of the UK-India CEO forum and noted the recommendations for the further development of business partnerships, including in advance manufacturing and R&D, education and skills, healthcare, and infrastructure and energy.
The leaders underlined their strong commitment to a successful outcome to the EU-India negotiations for a broad based, balanced, and ambitious Free Trade Agreement that will generate jobs and growth in both countries, and their hope for political agreement in 2013.
The two leaders encouraged a renewed focus by the governments and businesses of both countries for further and deeper partnerships to exploit fully the potential for stronger cooperation between the two countries.
The leaders welcomed the development in cooperation on infrastructure since the last summit. They noted the UK’s interest in cooperating with India for the development of a new Bengaluru-Mumbai Economic Corridor (BMEC). The leaders agreed to examine and evolve the modalities and content of a feasibility study of this project concept through mutual discussions and to work out a roadmap for a possible partnership in this area.
The leaders underlined the importance of cooperation in the field of health and welcomed the conclusion of an over-arching MOU at the government-to-government level to strengthen cooperation in this sector, and look forward to cooperation between the UK’s National Institute of Clinical Excellence and the Indian Department of Health Research, and between the Medical Health Regulatory Authority and the Drug Controller General of India.
The leaders welcomed the proposals by UK providers to support primary healthcare training in line with the objectives of various Government of India schemes/initiatives, encouraging further initiatives to follow the new pilot in Kerala and initial scoping study in Tamil Nadu; and nursing and midwifery training in coordination with national nursing centres.
The leaders welcomed the rapid expansion of India-UK research and development cooperation which is helping to generate and develop high quality and high impact research partnerships leading to new knowledge creation. The co-investment made by both countries in supporting joint research activities has risen from £1m in 2009 to over £100m today. Recent additions in the collaboration agenda include advanced manufacturing, bio-energy, smart grids, energy storage, next generation wireless systems and applied mathematics.
The two leaders welcomed the recent understanding on a new India-UK development partnership.
They agreed to work together to develop the global post-2015 development agenda, which should be ambitious and practical, with the aim of eradicating poverty - wherever it exists – and ensuring adequate means of implementation for developing countries.
Energy security is a major issue confronting both the UK and India and the two leaders agreed to cooperate to face this common challenge. The leaders welcomed the extensive collaboration in the energy sector including on oil and gas, renewable energy, energy efficiency, the power sector, and business leadership on low carbon technologies. They welcomed the substantial British investment in India’s energy sector. They also welcomed the growth in research and development partnerships on renewable energy, smart grids, forecasting and integration of renewable energy in the transmission grids, and new sources of energy and associated technologies. Both sides agreed to explore ways to deepen policy, commercial and research collaboration on energy, biofuels, and environmentally friendly technologies.
Both countries are net importers of energy and have strong demand for imported LNG. The two leaders agreed to work closely to address this issue through joint cooperation by forging partnerships, including commercial partnerships, to diversify LNG supply sources and to develop natural gas infrastructure in each other’s countries.
The two leaders agreed to open a dialogue between relevant agencies working in the field of petroleum conservation in both countries in different sectors of the economy. The two countries would promote joint cooperation through activities where the exchange of knowledge, technology and experience in the field of fuel conservation could bring mutual benefit to both countries.
The two leaders agreed, respectively to encourage Indian Public Sector Undertakings and UK oil and gas companies to explore the possibility of upstream oil and gas sector investment in India, the UK and in third countries, with a view to sourcing hydrocarbons to meet their energy requirements.
The UK and India stand together in the fight against terrorism. The two leaders welcomed the strong cooperation they have developed in this field since 2010, and which recently contributed to ensuring a safe and successful London Olympic Games. Condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, the two leaders agreed that all terrorist networks, wherever they exist, must be defeated. They called upon Pakistan to bring to justice the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks. The two leaders committed to work closely together to prevent terror attacks, strengthen the international counter-terrorism architecture, and exchange best practice in areas such as transport security, security of vital civil infrastructure installations, responding to terror attacks, and countering extremism. They also agreed to cooperate on joint training of their counter-terrorism forces.
The UK and India agreed to deepen their cooperation on cyber security, building on the comprehensive bilateral cyber dialogue held in October, 2012, and the subsequent Joint Statement on Cooperation between India and the UK on Cyber Issues. The two leaders agreed to hold the second round of dialogue at mutually convenient dates in March/April 2013. The two leaders announced a programme for the sharing of expertise on cyber security including; police training exchanges in cyber forensics; a joint workshop on cyber security research, and a cyber trade and skills event to be held in the first half of 2013. The two leaders also announced the establishment of a joint task force to exchange and share information to address malicious cyber activity originating in and affecting each other’s cyber space. The two leaders welcomed the UN General Assembly Resolution on the formation of a CSTD working group on enhanced cooperation and agreed to consult each other on the discussions in the working group.
The two leaders expressed their commitment to working towards a world free of nuclear weapons. They agreed to hold regular consultations on disarmament and non-proliferation issues. In recognition of the threat posed by terrorists gaining access to WMD materials, India and the UK agreed to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding on Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Security.
India and the UK’s civil nuclear cooperation has gone from strength to strength since the Joint Declaration in 2010. It now includes innovative nuclear research projects and the export of advanced civil nuclear technology and exchanges between scientific institutions. Both leaders expressed interest in cooperation with regard to India in the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership. In recognition of their commitment to enhance bilateral cooperation further, both leaders agreed to begin negotiations on a civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement.
Prime Minister Cameron committed the UK to make available to India the cutting edge British technology, civil and military, that the UK currently shares with its top international partners, in accordance with international obligations. The leaders agreed to work actively together to achieve India’s ambitions to join the major export control regimes (Nuclear Suppliers Group, Missile Technology Control Group; Australia Group; Wassenaar Arrangement).
The leaders noted the close and traditional interactions and exchanges between the Armed Forces of India and the UK, and welcomed initiatives being taken to enhance such exchanges to the mutual benefit of both countries. The two leaders also welcomed the regular conduct of exercises between the Armed Forces of both countries.
The leaders noted that, under a letter of agreement signed in September 2011, Indian and British scientists are working together to develop technologies for Defence and Security. Taking forward this engagement, the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is paired with the India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Three Collaborative Projects were initiated in 2012 and a new project has just been agreed to work together on Chemical and Biological Defence.
The leaders welcomed the UK and India’s close engagement during India’s recent tenure on the United Nations Security Council. The two sides agreed to continue this close co-operation on UNSC matters in a new bilateral, and institutionalised, format. Prime Minister Cameron reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to a reformed United Nations Security Council with India as a permanent member. Both Prime Ministers called for an open, effective and efficient United Nations, and welcomed their shared commitment to working actively through the United Nations to preserve international peace and security. The leaders welcomed deeper engagement on UN peacekeeping matters, and looked forward to enhancing this further through practical and policy co-operation.
The two leaders welcomed increased collaboration in foreign policy. The UK and India have a shared vision for peace, stability, democracy and prosperity.
The two leaders also discussed a range of other international security matters of concern including the conflict in Syria and Iran’s nuclear programme. The leaders reaffirmed their belief in the peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomacy and underlined the need for Iran to comply with the provisions of the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and to extend its full cooperation to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Both Prime Ministers agreed to deepen existing India-UK strategic consultations on developments in West Asia / Middle East.
The two leaders welcomed the international community’s continued commitment to Afghanistan in the form of development and security assistance during this period of transition and transformation. The two leaders also encouraged the international community and Afghanistan’s neighbours to promote foreign investment, market access, private sector development and development of infrastructure in Afghanistan to make Afghanistan economically self-reliant.
The two leaders recognised that the main threat to Afghanistan’s security and stability is terrorism which also endangers regional and global peace and security. In this regard, they emphasized the need for joint and concerted efforts and cooperation among regional and other countries to address the challenge of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the dismantling of terrorist sanctuaries and safe havens, as well as disrupting all financial and tactical support for terrorism.
The two leaders supported the efforts made by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to establish a peaceful inter-Afghan dialogue. They agreed that the process must be Afghan-led, inclusive and transparent and meet the key principles enunciated by the international community: renunciation of violence, breaking of all ties with Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, and acceptance of the Afghan Constitution, including its provision for the human rights of men and women. In this context, they noted the contribution of the UN Security Council anti-terror sanctions regime.
The two leaders agreed upon the need to sufficiently build the capacity of the Afghan National Security Forces so that the gains made over the past few years are not diluted.
The two leaders agreed to establish a new Joint Working Group as a mechanism for a regular bilateral dialogue on peace, security and development in Afghanistan.
The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the values and principles of the Commonwealth. Both sides agreed to work together to further strengthen the wide-ranging links that bind member states. They noted progress made in the reform and renewal of the Commonwealth. Both sides reiterated the importance of democracy and development as key pillars of the Commonwealth.
The two leaders agreed on the importance of quality education for all their citizens. The leaders noted the recognition and respect in India for the UK as a centre for excellence in education and learning. They expressed interest in further enhancing the mobility and exchange of students between India and the UK. Prime Minister Cameron reaffirmed that Britain warmly welcomes Indian students to the UK.
The leaders acknowledged the significance of collaboration in education and took note of the results of the recently concluded India-UK Education Forum meeting on 30 January 2013 in London. The leaders also noted that institutional links are progressing very well between the two countries under the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI).
The leaders recognised the important role of the British Council in providing English language training in India. Both leaders noted the need to build capacity for the training of English language teachers in new methodologies in partnership with the State Governments and the CBSE over the next five years, in coordination with Government of India and its national agencies.
The leaders welcomed the British Council’s programme to provide digital English language materials for use by millions of learners in India. They also welcomed the agreement between the British Council, INTEL and the State Government of Uttar Pradesh with the objective of reaching a further 4 million English learners.
The leaders welcomed the progress of the UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) since its inception in 2006, noting that more than 1025 partnerships had been supported in different areas, including over 380 in the second phase of UKIERI from 2011, in the four vital strands of leadership, innovation, skills and student mobility.
In addition to the UKIERI partnerships, the leaders welcomed the increase in direct university to university collaborations.
The leaders welcomed support from UKIERI and directly from business for increased work opportunities in India for British students and new graduates under the Study India Programme.
The two leaders welcomed that Indian Higher Education regulators will actively explore the possibility of creating an enabling environment, by introducing the necessary bridging mechanism, through which Indian nationals holding a Master’s degree from an accredited and recognised British University are able to pursue higher education or gain employment in India, after completing the necessary formalities of eligibility and equivalence.
The leaders welcomed the partnership between the UK Open University and the Government of India, supported by the British Council and UKAID, to provide training for 1 million teachers using web-based and other innovative technology.
The leaders welcomed the UK-India partnership to support secondary education through the Government of India’s Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) to universalise access to secondary education with emphasis on quality and equity. UK support will enable young people to access secondary education in India in larger numbers.
The leaders affirmed their support for a strong partnership in skills development and noted the opportunities in the delivery of vocational skills in all sectors to their citizens. They agreed to take this forward, including by working towards an MOU between the Ministry of Labour and Employment in India and relevant UK departments and agencies.
People to people links are central to the relationship between India and the UK. The two leaders reaffirmed that both countries welcome all legitimate travellers, whether students, tourists, visitors, business people or qualified workers. They underlined their commitment both to facilitate strong people-to-people exchanges and to cooperate to secure their borders and cooperate on migration issues. The two leaders agreed to continue their ongoing discussions on visa, migration and people mobility issues of concern to both sides.
The two leaders expressed their appreciation for the contribution of the Indian diaspora in the UK, including in Parliament, government, business, healthcare and education.
Cultural diplomacy between India and the UK is an important mechanism for strengthening bilateral relations, through organisations such as the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the British Council. The two leaders welcomed in this respect; chairs established by ICCR at Edinburgh Napier University and King’s College London; a partnership with the South Bank Centre for the Alchemy Festival; and partnerships with the Edinburgh Festivals.
The leaders welcomed the British Council’s plans to deliver their 5-year arts and culture initiative – ReImagine - to build new creative connections between the peoples of the UK and India.
The leaders welcomed the Leadership Training Programme (LTP) for in-service museum professionals in 2012, under the landmark MoU signed in 2010 between the Ministry of Culture of the Government of India and British institutions. This has paved the way for further capacity building programmes and the exchange of best practice between the cultural institutions of both countries.
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