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PM Narendra Modi meets with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, discuss progress of India-UK FTA negotiations

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met UK PM Rishi Sunak on Saturday, during the latter’s first visit to India, on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in New Delhi. This was Sunak’s first visit to India after taking office as Prime Minister in October 2022.

“The two leaders noted with satisfaction the progress in diverse areas of bilateral cooperation as per the India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership as well as the Roadmap 2030, particularly in economy, defence and security, technology, green technology and climate change, health and mobility sectors. Both leaders also exchanged views on international and regional issues of importance and mutual interest,” reads a press release by the Ministry of External Affairs.

“Both leaders also reviewed the progress of Free Trade Agreement negotiations and expressed hope that the remaining issues could be addressed at the earliest so that a balanced, mutually beneficial and forward looking Free Trade Agreement is concluded soon,” it goes on to say.

In August, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman indicated that India was close to a “final call” on signing the FTA with the UK. Talks have been ongoing since 2021 with 13 rounds of talks thus far. Bilateral trade between the two countries hit USD 20.36 billion in 2022-23.

“Prime Minister Modi invited PM Sunak for a bilateral visit at an early, mutually convenient date for a more detailed discussion. Prime Minister Sunak accepted the invitation and congratulated PM Modi for a successful G20 Summit,” the release concludes.

PM Modi also met with Giorgia Meloni, the Prime Minister of Italy and Fumio Kishida, the Prime Minister of Japan.

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Updated: 09 Sep 2023, 10:14 PM IST

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