THE UK on Wednesday unveiled a new scheme offering 3,000 places annually to 18 to 30 year-old degree-educated Indian nationals to come to Britain to live and work for up to two years following the first meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Rishi Sunak on the sidelines of the G-20 summit.
Modi also held separate bilateral meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese and the major focus of all the meetings was to boost defence and economic engagement. After his talks with Sunak, Modi said India attaches great importance to the robust India-UK ties while the Ministry of External Affairs said the discussions touched upon important sectors of collaboration such as trade, mobility, defence and security.
“Was great to meet PM @RishiSunak in Bali. India attaches great importance to robust India-UK ties. We discussed ways to increase commercial linkages, raise the scope of security cooperation in context of India’s defence reforms and make people-to-people ties even stronger,” Modi tweeted. It was the first meeting between the two leaders after the Indian-origin leader assumed office as the British Prime Minister around three weeks back.
“The Indo-Pacific is increasingly crucial for our security and our prosperity. It is teeming with dynamic and fast-growing economies, and the next decade will be defined by what happens in this region,” Sunak said. The British Prime Minister asserted that the UK will be a firm friend to the Indo-Pacific region.
“I know first-hand the incredible value of the deep cultural and historic ties we have with India. I am pleased that even more of India’s brightest young people will now have the opportunity to experience all that life in the UK has to offer -- and vice-versa -- making our economies and societies richer,” he added.
The UK is currently negotiating a trade deal with India. London said, if agreed, it will be the first deal of its kind India has made with a European country.