Building on the ambitions for the UK-India relationship set out in the 2030 Roadmap, Lord Ahmad will meet senior Indian ministers and officials, including Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra, External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, and G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant.
The visit’s focus on science, technology and innovation emphasises the UK’s commitment to deepen partnerships in these areas across the globe – evidenced by the recent announcement of a new Tech Envoy to the Indo-Pacific. Strengthening the UK-India relationship is a key pillar of the UK’s long-term foreign policy, as part of its enduring engagement in the Indo-Pacific set out in the Integrated Review Refresh.
UK Minister for South Asia Lord Ahmad said:
The UK and India are trusted partners united by the unique living bridge that closely connects our countries and people.
Building on the 2030 Roadmap for India-UK future relations, we are deepening our collaboration on science and technology, bringing new innovations to both our nations.
The visit comes as the UK and India continue to make progress towards a mutually beneficial Free Trade Agreement (FTA). An ambitious, balanced FTA would boost our current trading relationship, worth £36 billion in 2022.
A trade deal with India supports the government’s growth strategy to take advantage of the UK’s status as an independent trading nation, creating new trade and investment opportunities and championing free trade.
Lord Ahmad’s visit to Rajasthan will be his first trip to his mother’s birthplace of Jodphur as Minister for South Asia and will highlight the region’s rich cultural history. He will visit the iconic Mehrangarh Fort, and discuss education, sustainability and gender equality with emerging women leaders.
In New Delhi, Lord Ahmad will launch the ‘English Skills for Youth’ programme, co-developed by the British Council and Microsoft India, which will enhance global employment opportunities for Indian young people, especially young women. The minister will announce the winners of the UK-India Health-Tech Boot camp boosting health-tech innovations from India.
Concluding his visit in Hyderabad, Lord Ahmad will highlight science and tech innovations with trips to T-Hub and T-Works, the technology start-up incubator and prototyping facility which are part of the world’s largest innovation campus, and space launch vehicle company Skyroot. He will also visit the National Institute of Animal Biotechnology and discuss further potential for science and technology collaboration with Indian alumni of Chevening, the UK’s flagship international scholarship programme.
Christina Scott, Acting British High Commissioner to India, said:
The UK and India enjoy an invaluable partnership. As we deliver the UK-India Roadmap 2030, we are deepening and accelerating our collaboration on health, climate, trade, education, science and technology, and defence.
With India’s Presidency of the G20, we have an opportunity also fo2r the UK and India to work together to shape and deliver solutions to global problems.
- Lord Ahmad’s visit to India will include engagements in Delhi, Telangana, and Rajasthan
- the 2030 Roadmap for India-UK future relations was launched in 2021. Since then, significant progress has been made, including on health collaboration, advancing the transition to clean energy, cyber-security cooperation and the expansion of our defence and security partnership
- the April research agreement will enable quicker, deeper collaboration on science between the UK and India will drive economic growth, create skilled jobs and improve lives in the UK, India, and worldwide. It will launch a raft of new joint research schemes aiming to deliver progress on some of the biggest issues facing the world, from climate change and pandemic preparedness through to AI and machine learning
- see high-resolution images of the minister’s visit
- Lord Ahmad’s mother was born in Jodhpur, Rajasthan and his father in Gurdaspur, Punjab
Source – UK Government