Ahead of India Global Forum’s (IGF) flagship UK-India Week 2023, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hailed the UK-India partnership, calling it “a defining one for our times”.
Praising the role of IGF in fostering closer ties between India and the United Kingdom, Sunak said, “India Global Forum’s annual UK-India Week is a highly anticipated fixture in the bilateral calendar of our two great nations. It is a catalyst for forging new trade ties, lasting collaborations, and a better future for our people. I’m confident this partnership will be a defining one for our times.”
“India isn’t looking to the past. And nor can we. We need to move forward. Because the UK does not have a natural right to sit at the table with one of the world’s largest, fastest growing, and most dynamic economies. We must earn it,” he said.
Responding to the Prime Minister’s remarks, Manoj Ladwa, Founder and Chairman of IGF, said, “Given the geopolitical upheaval and economic turbulence around the world, I believe that it is more important now than ever before that the UK and India forge closer and deeper ties. I am grateful to Sunak for recognising the role that IGF is playing in bringing our two great democracies closer to unlocking the true potential of the partnership.”
While speaking at IGF’s UK-India Awards in 2022, then as Chancellor, Sunak had emphasised the importance of forging a partnership of equals.
In the backdrop of the 2030 Roadmap agreed upon by both governments, and the ongoing Free Trade Agreement negotiations, Sunak’s comments are a key indicator of his ambition to transform and elevate UK-India ties.
On the sidelines of the recent G-7 Summit in Hiroshima, Sunak and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, and took stock of the progress in the FTA negotiations. The British government has estimated that a trade deal could increase UK’s GDP by approximately £3.3bn – £6.2bn and India’s by around £3.7 bn – £8.6 bn by 2035.