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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Participated in 10th Round of Ministerial UK-India Economic and Financial Dialogue

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FM leads delegation in 10th Round of Ministerial UK-India Economic and Financial DialogueOn October 28, 2020, the 10th Round of Ministerial the United Kingdom (UK)-India Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) was held virtually where India was represented by Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) and Ministry of Finance and UK delegation was led by Chancellor of Exchequer, Rishi Sunak.

  • Indian Delegation included representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) while UK representatives were from Her Majesty’s Treasury, Bank of England and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
  • Alongside the EFD, Rishi Sunak addressed industry leaders at the UK-India Investing for Growth Forum hosted virtually by the City of London Corporation and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

The EFD saw the formal signing of the Joint Statement by both representatives which includes the following key points:

–India, UK ink pacts on financial services, infra, sustainable finance

India and the UK inked landmark agreements on financial services, infrastructure and sustainable finance, helping to boost jobs and investments in both countries. These are as follows:

–Both sides established a new U.K.-India strategic collaboration to accelerate the development of GIFT City (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City), India’s first International Financial Services Centre, and promote greater links between GIFT City and the U.K. financial services ecosystem by bringing together both governments, regulators and business to share experiences and expertise

–A new UK-India Partnership on Infrastructure Policy and Financing to support the Indian National Infrastructure Pipeline with UK commercial expertise and financing was also signed. This will help India execute its National Infrastructure Pipeline that envisages investments worth $1.4 trillion.

  • The UK will support India’s infrastructure pipeline by sharing experience, knowledge exchange and technical assistance, and also set up a Project Preparation Support Facility-cum-Centre of Excellence for PPP (Public Private Partnership) Projects.

Other Agreements:

–Both sides agreed to set up a new Fund of Funds to be managed by the State Bank of India (SBI) group in order to route U.K.’s future capital investments into India.

–Both sides agreed to create a new Financial Markets Dialogue to remove regulatory and market access barriers for UK and Indian firms.

–Ministers also agreed to explore ways to boost investment in insurance through an increase in India’s foreign investment limit.

  • UK side welcomed the decision to allow Indian companies to directly list on the London Stock Exchange.
  • UK-India Fast Track Start-up Fund backed by SIDBI and the UK Government will fund early-stage tech start-ups with technical assistance focussed on capacity building, policy advocacy and deepening entrepreneurial connection with the UK.

–Ministers committed to leading the world’s economic recovery by working closely together through the UK’s G7 and COP Presidencies and India’s G20 Presidency in 2022.

–To mobilise private capital for green investment, a new U.K.-India Sustainable Finance Forum is also being established to drive forward deeper cooperation on sustainable finance.

–Welcoming India’s move to allow 100% tax exemptions for sovereign wealth funds investing in infrastructure.

UK and India announced a joint investment of £8 million for tackle COVID 19

India and the UK announced new partnerships to boost bilateral cooperation on combating the coronavirus pandemic

  • To help combat the pandemic, U.K. and India announced a joint investment of £8 million for research to understand and address the factors leading to the severity of the coronavirus.
  • In another move, the UK Department of Health and Social Care Care (DHSC) will contribute to India’s coronavirus Joint Response Plan (JRP) and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) via the World Health Organization (WHO) with an initial amount of £600,000.
  • The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) in Indian Ministry of Science and Technology‘s research will support research projects.

India-UK Relations:

India and the United Kingdom enjoy close bilateral relations in diverse areas. Together they are two of the world’s top seven economies with a combined GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of over $5 trillion.

  • Bilateral trade between India and the U.K. stood at £24 billion in 2019 and India is now the second-largest project investment source for the U.K.

Recent Related News:

i.On August 17, 2020, the government of UK launched a £3 million “Innovation Challenge Fund2020” in India to support scientists in academia and industry to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

ii.On September 22, 2020, India-UK Water Partnership Forum was held virtually to discuss ways to collaborate on the issues pertaining to infrastructure development and water conservation. The event was inaugurated by Indian High Commissioner to UK, Gaitri Issar Kumar along with the Ministry of Jal Shakti Secretary Upendra Prasad Singh.

About United Kingdom (UK):
Prime Minister (PM)– Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson
Capital– London