The UK and India have agreed an ambitious roadmap for enhancing bilateral relations, where cooperation on climate change is a major pillar.
Against this backdrop, the focus of India Day in Parliament on February 23 was on the sheer scale of collaborative opportunities in this sector as Special Guest Alok Sharma, and Minister of State at the UK Cabinet Office, shared insights as the man in the driving seat of the landmark Conference of Parties (COP) negotiations in Glasgow.
Alok Sharma said: “Never before in any COP decision have we got an agreement from all 197 countries to phase down coal. I do believe the package we got over the line was historic and ambitious.
“Climate is, of course, one of the key priorities outlined in the UK-India 2030 Roadmap, which commits to safeguard our planet and build a more environmentally sustainable, inclusive future together; and it reflects India’s critical importance as a partner in achieving global climate goals.
“The UK is proud to be a member of the India-led International Solar Alliance (ISA) and partners in the Coalition for Disaster Relief Infrastructure (CDRI). India is absolutely a critical partner in tackling climate change.”
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The 4th annual UK-India Parliamentary Lunch, conceptualised and organised by at the House of Lords, was co-hosted by Lord Jitesh Gadhia and the Indian High Commissioner to the UK, HE Gaitri Issar Kumar. It brought together an array of guests from the world of politics, business, philanthropy, academia and the arts who have been instrumental in driving the UK-India relationship forward, reflective of the UK’s vibrant diaspora Living Bridge.
Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla, Biocon Chairman & MD Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Bharti Enterprises Founder & Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal, Tata Group Executive Director Tim Jones, peers Lord Dolar Popat, Lord Meghnad Desai and Baroness Usha Prashar and Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland were among some of the guests at the lively and informative event, a celebration of two great democracies as they mark 75 years of UK-India relations in 2022.
Gaitri Issar Kumar said: “It is a pleasure to co-host India at the UK Parliament in collaboration with Lord Jitesh Gadhia and India Global Forum at a very special juncture in the history of India-UK relations.
“The India-UK Roadmap, launched by Honourable Prime Ministers of India and the UK in 2021, reflects the wide canvas of our agenda towards 2030 – presently being implemented under the stewardship of Hon'ble External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar and UK Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss.
“Our trade negotiations have progressed towards a possible Interim Agreement in the next few months followed by a by the end of this year. My message to stakeholders in the India-UK partnership is that this is a moment of opportunity as Government of India provides greater ease of doing business with us.
“I laud our countrymen and PIOs whose success here in the UK has brought laurels to India. As we celebrate 75 years of the bilateral relationship between India and the UK, I call upon you to reinforce the excellent bilateral ties at all levels; to realise the true potential of the India-UK cooperation between two democracies – the oldest and the largest – sharing values and a commitment to collaborate for our mutual prosperity and on global challenges for the good of mankind.”
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Lord Gadhia said: “One of the key ambitions of the UK-India Roadmap 2030 is doubling trade towards GBP 50 billion.
“If this lunch has one key objective, it is to re-energise and renew our commitment to unlocking the full potential of the UK and India working ever more closely together.”
, Founder & CEO of India Inc. Group behind IGF, said: “As a steadfast believer in the immense potential of UK-India relations, it really does feel like an exciting time for this winning partnership. Both great democracies are poised for that quantum leap we have all been working towards.
“India Day in Parliament comes at an opportune moment as a power-packed lunch to celebrate the strengthening ties bound by our dynamic diaspora living bridge.
“A special thanks to all IGF supporters behind this event, an annual celebration in the UK-India calendar.”