Outsourcing and offshoring will be part of the new global economy, said British Prime Minister Gordon Brown soon after his arrival from Shanghai on Sunday.
Brown, who will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday, told a business summit at IIT, Delhi, that “mutual trade” would be to the benefit of all. “I hate the idea that we will slip into protectionism,” he said, suggesting in the presence of Commerce Minister Kamal Nath that the world must work towards a new trade agreement.
Brown, who is on a two-day visit, felt that in the new economy, jobs would move from India to the UK and vice-versa, pointing out that a huge amount of investment was coming into the UK from India.
Ahead of his visit, the British PM told the BBC in an interview that he would seek more cooperation from India in combating terrorism.
“There’s got to be greater cooperation between the major countries and Britain in the fight against terrorism,” he was quoted as saying. “I want not just China and Pakistan but also India to play their part in cooperating with us so we can root out those who are seeking to use terrorist finance.”
“That means India should join what’s called the Financial Action Task Force — it’s not yet a member — so it can play its part in working to deal with terrorist structures.”
The UK has also said it will give India £825 million in development aid, with more than half spent on health and education, over the next three years.
Among other things, the British Council intends to develop teacher-training capacities with Indian partners, intending to train 7,50,000 teachers over the next five years.
In a related development, the Confederation of Indian Industry on Sunday signed two agreements with UKSkills and i2india Holdings to explore and drive innovation.
“This (skills) MoU will further enhance cooperation between India and UK in vocational skills…(it) also help create a support structure for the development of a National Skills Team and their participation in WorldSkills International, and other competitions. WorldSkills International is the biggest skills competition in the world that sets ‘world standards in over 45 skill categories ranging from cabinet making to web design,” a statement said.
The other agreement will offer services to the Indian industry that will lead to enhancing the awareness of innovation and intellectual property (IP) in India.