UK Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday met Narendra Modi at the India-UK Tech Summit in Delhi. Talking on the event, May said that India and UK share a unique bond, and that there was tremendous potential for building up the relationship between the two nations. Theresa May said Britain would turn into a ultimate free trade champion as she laid the basis for a potential post-Brexit deal India, the world’s quickest developing significant economy.

UK-India Tech Summit: India and UK share a special bond
British Prime Minister Theresa May and Narendra Modi, attend the India-U.K Tech Summit in New Delhi.

In her first bilateral trip outside Europe since taking office in July, May said Britain would not “turn its back on the world” once it has left the EU but wanted new economic relationships that would benefit all sides.

“We want Britain to become the most committed and most passionate advocate of free trade in the world,” May said in a speech to industrialists in the Indian capital.

“That is because free trade creates a rising tide that lifts all boats, it makes all richer, it creates jobs, it increases investment, it improves productivity, it transforms living standards and creates opportunities for all our citizens.”

May said that “no country owes another country a living” but there were plenty of areas where Britain and India could work more closely together.

“Identifying … (areas of common interest) does not need to wait for us to leave the European Union.”

Highlighting the significance of innovation which has critical impact in forging solid ties between New Delhi and London, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it is fundamental for India and the United Kingdom, two nations connected by history, to cooperate to characterize the learning economy of the 21st century.

“A natural collaboration emerges in India’s rapidly developing financial services sector. ‘Fintech‘ is emerging as the next big transformation for India as we bring 220 million new households into the umbrella of the ‘Jan Dhan Yojana’. This financial inclusion scheme is being melded with mobile technology and the unique identification card to form the largest social security program in the world,” he said.

Speaking at the India-UK Tech Summit held at the national capital which aims to reinforce friendship between India and the UK, Prime Minister Modi said, “In the current global environment, our two countries face several economic challenges which directly affect trade and commerce. But I am confident that together we can leverage our scientific strengths and technological prowess to create new opportunities.”

He said there is an open door for India and UK to team up in the ‘Digital India’ Program and grow information convergence and people centric e-governance.

“The convergence of my government’s flagship development missions, our technology achievements and aspirations, and our strong bilateral relations offer huge new growth avenues for Indian and British industries,” Prime Minister Modi said.

The Prime Minister said that with UK’s administration in financial innovation and international finance, promising open doors can be harnessed by Indian endeavors in this mission.

India will soon have over a billion phone connections with an urban tele-density of around 154%. We have 350 million internet users. We are bringing in last mile connectivity to nearly 100,000 villages across the country. Such rapid growth offers new digital highways and new markets for UK and Indian companies to address,” he said.

“Advanced manufacturing is a special endeavour under this program. UK as a leading player and can benefit from our liberal FDI policies in defense manufacturing, aerospace and electronics engineering,” he said.

The Prime Minster likewise highlighted UK’s hearty cooperation in helping India’s aim to accomplish Smart City mission and energized Brittan’s interest in different fields as well.

“I am glad that there is already a high level of interest from the UK in projects in Pune, Amaravati and Indore. I understand that UK companies have already signed deals worth 9 billion pounds and I encourage more participation,” he said.

PM Modi addressing at UK-India Tech Summit
PM Modi addressing at UK-India Tech Summit

Prime Minister Modi said India and UK have developed among the main three biggest startup center points in the world with an energizing ecosystem of investors and innovators.

Startup India program aims at converging innovation and technology with entrepreneurship for our tech-savvy youth. Together, we can create a vibrant and thriving environment for new commercial applications with breakthrough technologies,” he said.

“I believe that India and the UK must continue to nurture and support an ecosystem of high quality fundamental research to pave the way for joint technology development that can address global challenges,” he added.

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