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Overview of EAM Jaishankar’s visit to the United Kingdom

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EAM Jaishankar’s four-day visit to the United KingdomIndia’s External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar visited London, United Kingdom (UK) from May 3-6, 2021 to participate in the G7 Foreign & Development Ministers Meeting. India has been invited as a Guest Country to the meeting by the UK.

  • The G7 Countries are Britain, United States (US), Canada, France, Germany, Italy & Japan.
  • During the sidelines of the meeting, he held discussions with Ministers of the US, South Africa & the European Union.
  • The 1st Trilateral Ministerial Dialogue between India-France-Australia was held on the sidelines of the G7 meeting.

EAM virtually participates in G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting

The G7 Foreign & Development Ministers meeting took place in person at London, the UK from May 3-6, 2021. It was hosted by UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

  • The G7 Foreign & Development Ministers meeting is the 1st in-person summit since the beginning of COVID-19.
  • India’s EAM Jaishankar virtually participated in the Meeting from London (due to some Indian delegation members testing Positive for COVID-19).
  • Issues like media freedom, arbitrary detention and girls education, women empowerment, sustainable recovery, maritime security and others were discussed.
  • Ways to ensure fairer access to vaccine stockpiles & strengthening of the Global Vaccine distribution scheme known as ‘COVAX’ were also discussed.
  • Along with India, countries like Australia, South Korea, South Africa, and the Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were invited as guests for the meeting.

India-UK sign Migration & Mobility Partnership

i.UK’s Home Secretary Priti Patel & India’s EAM S Jaishankar signed the ‘Migration and Mobility Partnership (MMP)’ agreement between the 2 countries.

  • The agreement includes a Special Young Professionals scheme allowing young Indian & British professionals (between the age 18-30) to work & live in each other’s country for 2 years.
  • India is the first visa national country (i.e Countries that require visas to visit the UK) to benefit from the scheme.
  • It is aimed at combating immigration crime and fraud.
  • The MMP Agreement was approved by the Indian Union Cabinet on May 5, 2021.

ii.More than 53, 000 Indian students visited the UK for study purposes in 2020 (an increase of 42% compared to 2019).

  • Based on 2018-19 statistics, Indians make up the 3rd Largest student population in the UK after China & the USA.

Jaishankar-Dominic Raab hold Bilateral discussions

During the visit, Jaishankar virtually conducted Bilateral discussions with UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

  • The discussions were focused on the implementation of the ‘Roadmap 2030’ of the India-UK Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP), which will lead the way for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India & the UK.
  • They also discussed ways to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Issues such as Indo-Pacific cooperation, climate change and global health challenges featured in the meeting.

The signing of UK-India ETP Agreement

UK’s Trade Secretary Liz Truss & India’s Union Minister for Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal virtually signed the UK-India Enhance Trade Partnership (ETP) Agreement, which aims to double bilateral trade between the two countries by 2030 (current level stands at GBP 23 Billion).

  • The agreement will create opportunities for British businesses in India across Industries like food and drink, life sciences and the service sector.
  • The UK is the 5th Largest economy, whereas India is the 6th Largest Economy in the world (according to a report by the Centre for Economics & Business Research Ltd – CEBR).
  • Bilateral trade between India & UK stood at USD 15.45 billion in 2019-20.

India-France-Australia hold 1st Trilateral Ministerial Dialogue

On the sidelines of the G7 meeting, India-France-Australia held the 1st Trilateral Ministerial Dialogue virtually. The meeting was held with  French Minister of Europe & Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian & Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne.

  • During the meeting, issues like climate change, the situation in Myanmar,  and development of sustainable, resilient and quality infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific region were discussed.
  • The Ministers reviewed the outcomes of the 1st India-France-Australia Foreig Secretaries Trilateral Dialogue held on September 9, 2020.
  • The outcomes on three pillars – maritime safety and security, marine and environmental cooperation, and multilateral engagement were reviewed.
  • It was agreed to hold the 2nd Senior Officials’ Working Group meeting in 2021. 

Other Meetings

During the sidelines of the G7 meeting, EAM Jaishankar held discussions with leaders of several countries.

i.He held discussions with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on matters of India’s COVID-19 challenge and supply of oxygen and Remdesivir.

  • This is the 1st in-person meeting between Jaishankar & Antony Blinken.

ii.He also held discussions with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy Joseph Borrell Fontelles, during which they discussed issues related to the Indo-Pacific region & Afghanistan.

iii.He held an in-person discussion with the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, Naledi Pandor on issues like COVID-19 and addressing the economic crisis brought by the global health crisis.

Recent Related News:

i.April 1, 2021, External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr S Jaishankar reached Dushanbe (Capital of Tajikistan) as part of his official visit to Tajikistan from March 30-31, 2021.

About G7 (Group of Seven)

Members – 7, Founded – 1975
2021 Presidency – United Kingdom