India’s Modi and Britain’s Sunak discuss ways to boost trade, people-to-people ties

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India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Rishi Sunak met at the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Bali on Wednesday and discussed ways to boost trade between the two countries, Modi said.

It was the first meeting between Modi and Sunak, who is of Indian origin, since the British prime minister took office in October.

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Earlier on Wednesday, Sunak’s office said Britain was negotiating a trade deal with India, which if agreed would be the first of its kind India has made with a European country.

“They looked forward to the agreement of a UK-India free trade deal, which has the potential to unlock investment and increase jobs in both our countries, as well as expanding our deep cultural links,” Sunak’s office said in a statement.

“India attaches great importance to robust ties with United Kingdom,” Modi said on Twitter after the meeting.

“We discussed ways to increase commercial linkages, raise the scope of security cooperation in context of India’s defense
reforms and make people-to-people ties even stronger.”

The two-day summit on the Indonesian island was the first time G20 leaders met since Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow describes as a “special military Operation.”

At the end of the summit Indonesia handed over the G20 presidency to India for one year, beginning on December 1.

“Without peace and security, our future generations will not be able to take advantage of economic growth or technological innovation,” Modi told the summit at the closing session.

“The G20 has to convey a strong message in favor of peace and harmony.”

Modi also met Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, French President Emmanuel Macron and Germany Chancellor Olaf Scholz, among other leaders at the summit on Wednesday.

During their meeting Modi and Albanese reviewed progress made by the two countries in the fields of defense, trade, education and clean energy, India’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

Read more: UK says has completed most of India free trade pact, will only sign once happy

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