Decision by UK Government to explore opportunities for closer cooperation between UK and Gujarat hailed

BJP welcomes move of the British Government

Bipartisan support in UK for the step

Labour MP Mr. Barry Gardiner welcomes move

Lord Gulam Noon expresses delight over the decision of the British Government

The decision by the British Government to explore opportunities for closer cooperation between Gujarat and UK has been universally hailed. Members of the House of Lords, an eminent writer as well as Netizens gave their thumbs up to this move by the British Government. The BJP and the Labour Party in UK have also given their stamp of approval to the same.

Shri Modi himself spoke on the issue during his speech at the conclusion of the Vivekananda Yuva Yatra in Pavagadh. Welcoming the move, Shri Modi said that after having little official contact with Gujarat for 10 years, the UK has understood Gujarat’s importance and decided to work with the state. He added that the UK has understood what our own Prime Minister may not have!



Earlier in the day, Shri Modi welcomed the move by Tweeting minutes after the press statement was announced. He wrote, “Der AayeDurastaAaye!! I welcome UK Government's step for active engagement & strengthening relations with Guj. God is Great.” Shri Modi was flooded with congratulatory messages especially from the Indian diaspora. Thanking them, he Tweeted, “Getting many messages of pride & joy from Indian diaspora, especially Gujaratis in London & all over the world. Thanks for your affection!”

BJP Welcomes Move!

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has welcomed the decision of the British Government. BJP General Secretary Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad said that in a time when the foreign media called the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh ‘underachiever’ this step surely comes as a very positive sign.

Other leaders of the BJP who welcomed the move include BJP Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat Smt. Smriti Irani and BJP Leader Shri Balbir Punj.

Bipartisan Support Across United Kingdom

Both the leading parties of Britain are on the same page in hailing the decision to explore close cooperation with Gujarat. The announcement was made by Mr. Hugo Swire, on behalf of the Conservative Party led Government and the Labour Party has welcomed it.

Mr. Barry Gardiner, Labour MP and Labour Friends of India said in a statement that he supports this move. The statement notes that British companies are doing more business with Gujarat than with all other states of India put together. The statement lauds Shri Narendra Modi for having put delivered unprecedented growth, that has made its economy the envy of rest of India.

Mr. Gardiner shared his own experience of visiting Gujarat in 2009 during which he was extremely impressed with development in the state. His statement read, “I saw for myself the way education and healthcare had been rolled out to the most remote rural villages alongside a programme of rural electrification and road infrastructure which has brought real prosperity to what were previously some of the poorest regions."

On the biennial Vibrant Gujarat summits, the Labour MP said, “At the Biennial Trade Fair: "Vibrant Gujarat" industrialists like Mukesh Ambani, Sunil Mittal and Ratan Tata have lined up to pay tribute to the way that the Chief Minister has cut through corruption and bureaucracy to create a stable and supportive business environment.”Mr. Gardiner himself represents Brent North, a seat with a substantial number of voters of Gujarati origin in the House of Commons.

Member of the House of Lords and an individual who distinguished himself in the food industry, Lord Gulam Noon expressed delight on the British Government’s decision. He said, “I was delighted to learn that the British Government has finally accepted the importance of Gujarat and its Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s dynamic leadership for the State of Gujarat.This is indeed a very important announcement which recognises the huge progress the State of Gujarat has made in the last decade.” He also stated he awaits Mr. Modi’s visit to the UK very soon.

Another Member of the House of Lords and noted academic Lord Bhikhu Parekh viewed it as recognition of the fact that Britain could not hope to trade with India without leaving Gujarat out.

Widespread Support On Social Media

Closer home, renowned author Chetan Bhagat gave his thumbs up to the move of the UK authorities.

Social Media too was abuzz with immense support for the step. Netizens viewed it as an indication of Gujarat’s growing economy, the global acceptance of its development model under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi.

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Trade and beyond: a new impetus to the EU-India Partnership

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Trade and beyond: a new impetus to the EU-India Partnership

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May 08, 2021

At the invitation of the President of the European Council Mr. Charles Michel, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi participated in the India-EU Leaders’ Meeting today.

The meeting was held in a hybrid format with the participation of leaders of all the 27 EU Member States as well as the President of the European Council and the European Commission. This is the first time that the EU hosted a meeting with India in the EU+27 format. The meeting was the initiative of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

During the meeting, the leaders expressed their desire to further strengthen the India-EU Strategic Partnership based on a shared commitment to democracy, fundamental freedoms, rule of law and multilateralism. They exchanged views on three key thematic areas: i) foreign policy and security; ii) COVID-19, climate and environment; and iii) trade, connectivity and technology. They discussed forging closer cooperation on combating the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery, tackling climate change, and reforming multilateral institutions. India appreciated the prompt assistance provided by the EU and its member states to combat its second COVID wave.

The leaders welcomed the decision to resume negotiations for balanced and comprehensive free trade and investment agreements. Negotiations on both the Trade and Investment Agreements will be pursued on parallel tracks with an intention to achieve early conclusion of both agreements together. This is a major outcome which will enable the two sides to realise the full potential of the economic partnership. India and the EU also announced dedicated dialogues on WTO issues, regulatory cooperation, market access issues and supply chain resilience, demonstrating the desire to deepen and further diversify economic engagement.

India and the EU launched an ambitious and comprehensive ‘Connectivity Partnership’ which is focused on enhancing digital, energy, transport and people-to-people connectivity. The Partnership is based on the shared principles of social, economic, fiscal, climate and environmental sustainability, and respect for international law and commitments. The Partnership will catalyse private and public financing for connectivity projects. It will also foster new synergies for supporting connectivity initiatives in third countries, including in the Indo-Pacific.

India and the EU leaders reiterated their commitment to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and agreed to strengthen joint efforts for mitigation, adaptation and resilience to the impacts of climate change, as well as providing means of implementation including finance in the context of COP26. India welcomed the EU’s decision to join CDRI.

India and the EU also agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation on digital and emerging technologies such as 5G, AI, Quantum and High-Performance Computing including through the early operationalization of the Joint Task Force on AI and the Digital Investment Forum.

The leaders noted with satisfaction the growing convergences on regional and global issues, including counterterrorism, cybersecurity and maritime cooperation. The leaders acknowledged the importance of a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific and agreed to closely engage in the region, including in the context of India’s Indo-Pacific Ocean’s Initiative and the EU’s new strategy on the Indo-Pacific.

Coinciding with the Leaders’ Meeting, an India-EU Business Roundtable was organised to highlight the avenues for cooperation in climate, digital and healthcare. A finance contract of Euro 150 million for the Pune Metro Rail Project was signed by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, and European Investment Bank.

India-EU Leaders Meeting has set a significant milestone by providing a new direction to the Strategic Partnership and giving a fresh impetus for implementing the ambitious India-EU Roadmap 2025 adopted at the 15th India-EU Summit held in July 2020.