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UK minister Liz Truss to announce new strategic forum, tech tie-ups in India

Truss arrived in New Delhi on Friday for a two-day visit to hold talks with her counterpart S Jaishankar and Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav to discuss areas for closer collaboration, it said.

PTI PTI
London Published on: October 22, 2021 6:52 IST
UK minister Liz Truss to announce new strategic forum, tech
Image Source : ANI

UK minister Liz Truss to announce new strategic forum, tech tie-ups in India

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will announce a series of technology and infrastructure tie-ups with India worth over USD 82 million to boost both economies and help developing countries grow in a clean and sustainable way, the British government said on Friday.

Truss arrived in New Delhi on Friday for a two-day visit to hold talks with her counterpart S Jaishankar and Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav to discuss areas for closer collaboration, it said.

The minister is set to announce a series of technology and infrastructure tie-ups with India worth over 60 million pounds (USD 82 million) to boost both economies and help developing countries grow in a clean and sustainable way.

The talks between Truss and External Affairs Minister Jaishankar will lead to the announcement a new Strategic Futures Forum, bringing together leading figures from government, business and academia in both countries to drive closer links in priority areas like tech and security, and shape the longer-term, strategic vision for India-UK partnership to build on the tech expertise in both countries.

“I want the UK and India to step-up their partnership in critical areas like technology, investment, security and defence,” said Truss, who was last in India in her previous role as International Trade Secretary.

“India is the world’s largest democracy, a tech and economic powerhouse and a vital strategic partner for the UK. Closer ties – including in areas like tech and infrastructure – will deliver jobs and growth in both countries, boost developing world economies and help us promote our values on the global stage,” she said.

Her meeting with Yadav will focus on climate targets, to underline the importance of making “concrete progress” on climate change ahead of the upcoming COP 26 climate summit.

After her meeting with Jaishankar and Yadav in Delhi, Truss will head to Mumbai, where she will visit the UK Carrier Strike Group on its most substantial port visit to date.

While in Mumbai, she will speak to Indian business leaders at a Build Back Better World roundtable to help boost infrastructure in the developing world.

The senior British Cabinet minister will outline agreements to deepen investment ties between the two countries and work together on finance and technical support packages for the developing world.

This includes a 11.5 million pounds (USD 15 million) UK investment in two venture capital funds aimed at supporting India’s transition to cleaner energy.

Both funds will return profit to the UK taxpayer and make use of UK expertise, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said. 

It also includes a 50.4 million pounds (USD 69 million) investment by the FCDO investment arm CDC to fund green tech infrastructure projects across India through the joint Green Growth Equity Fund.

The third announcement will be around 500,000 pounds (USD 689,592) UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) investment to build a new virtual network of UK and Indian labs working to promote Net Zero targets in key industries including glass, cement and metals.

The deals set to be announced cover tech transfer and knowledge sharing with developing countries alongside heavy capital investment – a model that the UK said it is looking to replicate with partners around the world.

The FCDO said that the agreements will help drive forward the British government’s Build Back Better World Initiative, launched by G7 leaders in June to help meet the huge clean infrastructure need in the developing world.

The UK government said Truss wants to strengthen the UK’s economic, technology and security links with fast-growing economies and like-minded partners and build “a network of liberty” around the globe, and closer ties with like-minded democracies such as India are key to that ambition.

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