UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hosted a special reception to celebrate India Global Forum’s (IGF) UK-India Week 2023 in the garden of 10 Downing Street this week and declared that it marked the start of an Indian summer with much to celebrate in the sphere of bilateral ties.
He said: “UK-India Week is always a big moment in the calendar. But this year I think we’re going one better; it’s not just UK-India Week but a whole Indian summer.
“I want to say a big thank you to [IGF Founder] Manoj and the India Global Forum for getting this Indian summer under way.”
The Prime Minister referenced his Indian heritage and the diaspora living bridge as he expressed his hopes for even closer ties with India, including an ambitious free trade agreement (FTA) and also plans for a visit to New Delhi for the G20 Summit later this year.
He said: “The links between our two countries are closer than ever. Just look at the Coronation of His Majesty the King. On that most historic day, people of Indian heritage were at the heart of proceedings, presenting the Coronation regalia, and as part of the delegation of faith leaders. It shows the depth of the bonds we share, the living bridge between our two nations, the thriving business links, the flow of ideas and investments. All stronger than ever… but of course we want to do more.
“Prime Minister Modi-ji and I agree there’s huge potential here. We’re making great progress together on the 2030 Roadmap. And we want to strike a truly ambitious trade deal that benefits both our nations, bringing tremendous opportunities to businesses and consumers, both in India and here at home.”
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The British Indian leader, joined by wife Akshata Murty and mother-in-law Sudha Murty, mingled with a gathering of innovators, entrepreneurs, diplomats and celebrities, including actors Sonam Kapoor and Vivek Oberoi, Indian boxing medallist Mary Kom, musicians Shankar Mahadevan and Zakir Hussain, among others.
In his introductory speech, IGF Founder and Chairman Manoj Ladwa said: “We are here in the heart of the greatest city in the world, at the most famous address in the world and in the middle of what has already been a most extraordinary few days India Global Forum’s now 5th annual UK-India Week.
“We are all here, from such diverse backgrounds, experiences and journeys. Yet what unites us, is our passion and contribution to enhance to what I describe as the winning partnership between the UK and India.”
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The event came at the conclusion of another packed day at UK-India Week, with interventions by the education ministers from both countries – India’s Dharmendra Pradhan and UK’s Gillian Keegan. Sectoral experts delved into topics such as climate action, cyber security and sustainability.
*Info: UK-India Week