Finance Ministers Sunak and Sitharaman hold landmark dialogue

The landmark tenth Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) between the UK and India saw the UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman meeting to build further economic ties.

The UK and India have a strong investment relationship, with UK and Indian investments supporting over half a million jobs in each other’s economies. Since the first EFD with India in 2007, UK bilateral trade with India has more than doubled to nearly £24 billion in 2019.

The Chancellor and Finance Minister discussed the importance of continuing to work together to deal with the global economic impact of Coronavirus – which the UK and India are already leading as co-authors of the G20 Action Plan – and tackling climate change through sustainable finance.

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:

The UK’s economic and financial relationship with India has never been more important with the global challenges we face. Today we set out our ambition for even stronger ties, with an agreement that will increase investment and create and secure jobs. We are also committed to working together to lead the global economic recovery as we build back better after the pandemic.

Agreements reached today include:

  • A new strategic partnership to accelerate the development of Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City as an international financial centre – including regulatory capacity building support for the new International Financial Services Centre Authority
  • A new UK-India Partnership on Infrastructure Policy and Financing to support the Indian National Infrastructure Pipeline with UK commercial expertise and financing
  • Strengthening cooperation on mobilising private capital into green investment, including through a new UK-India Sustainable Finance Forum, and greening the financial system
  • A fresh mandate for the industry-led India-UK Financial Partnership to explore closer financial ties in areas including FinTech
  • Creating a new Financial Markets Dialogue to remove regulatory and market access barriers for UK and Indian firms
  • Joint investment by UK Research and Innovation and India’s Department of Biotechnology in research collaborations worth up to £8 million to understand the impact of Covid in South Asian populations in the UK and India

During the talks, the Chancellor championed UK markets as a source for Indian companies to raise international capital, and welcomed the decision to allow Indian companies to list on the London Stock Exchange – the UK being one of only seven jurisdictions permitted.

Ministers also agreed to explore ways to boost investment in insurance through an increase in India’s foreign investment limit.

The UK and India have built a strong partnership on FinTech, and the Ministers agreed to collaborate on facilitating the flow of faster and cheaper UK-India remittances.

Ministers further committed to leading the world’s economic recovery by working closely together through the UK’s G7 and COP Presidencies and India’s G20 Presidency in 2022.

Alongside the EFD, the Chancellor addressed industry leaders at the UK-India Investing for Growth Forum hosted virtually by the City of London Corporation and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The Chancellor highlighted the enormous potential for the UK and India to work together to drive green sustainable finance flows and generate even stronger bilateral investment.

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