UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly arrived in India this week just as a new scheme allowing young British and Indian nationals to live and work in each other’s countries for up to two years opened for eligible candidates in both countries.
While in New Delhi, Cleverly will meet his Indian counterpart, External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar, ahead of the G20 Foreign Ministers meet in New Delhi on March 2. They are expected to discuss progress on the UK-India 2030 Roadmap, which aims to bolster the two countries’ ties in defence and security, trade and investment.
During a visit to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Delhi, the Foreign Secretary marked the opening of the Young Professionals Scheme as “landmark migration scheme will enable the brightest and best in both our countries to benefit from new opportunities”.
He also announced the creation of the UK’s first Tech Envoy to the Indo-Pacific region, who will be charged with boosting ties with India “as a priority”. The new Tech Envoy will work with partners in the region on areas of shared interest, including setting global technology standards and helping to solve challenges through innovative technology.
Cleverly said: “India is a hugely important partner to the UK and the deeper ties we are forging now will help to grow the UK economy and boost our industries for the future.
“India is also an emerging global leader on technology and there are immense opportunities for better collaboration between us in this sector. That is why we will be basing our first Tech Envoy to the Indo-Pacific region, to maximise the tech expertise of both countries.”
At an India-Europe business event in New Delhi, Cleverly will reaffirm the UK’s commitment to conclude a free trade agreement (FTA) with India.
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With more links than almost any country in the Indo-Pacific region, the UK-India trading relationship is already worth £34 billion, growing by £10 billion in one year, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said ahead of the India visit.
India currently holds the presidency of the G20 and will be chairing the Foreign Ministers meeting, where the UK focus will be on advancing global efforts on food and energy security, climate change and development.