Foreign secretary Shringla to visit UK during July 23-24
India’s foreign secretary Harsh Shringla will visit the UK during July 23-24 for a comprehensive review of bilateral relations, including the Roadmap 2030 to elevate ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership over the next decade.
The Roadmap 2030 was adopted at a virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his UK counterpart Boris Johnson in May, when the two sides launched an Enhanced Trade Partnership for facilitating market access in specific sectors, and unveiled plans to finalise an interim trade deal by mid-2022 as a precursor to a free trade agreement.
“During the visit, the foreign secretary will meet his counterparts and conduct a detailed review of bilateral relations with particular focus on the implementation of the Roadmap 2030. He will also discuss regional and global issues of mutual interest,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday.
The Roadmap 2030, he said, is aimed at elevating bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership and guiding cooperation over the next 10 years in key areas such as trade, defence, security, climate, health and people-to-people relations.
The Enhanced Trade Partnership is part of UK’s efforts to ramp up trade ties with countries across the world following its exit from the European Union (EU). It will see Britain open up its fisheries sector to more Indian players, facilitate more opportunities for nurses, recognise Indian seafarers’ certificates and enter into a joint dialogue on a social security agreement.
In return, India lifted restrictions to enable British producers to export fruits to the country and improved access for medical devices through the acceptance of the UK Certificates of Free Sale. The two sides will also work towards reciprocal opening up of legal services.
These actions are expected to generate some 25,000 new direct and indirect jobs in India.
Shringla’s visit is also expected to be an opportunity for India and UK to review the situation in Afghanistan, where the Taliban has launched a massive campaign to capture territory while refusing to engage in meaningful peace talks to find a political settlement. The UK has emerged as a key player in facilitating back channel contacts with the Taliban.