Modi meets May, says UK as important as ever

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Hangzhou (China), Sep 5 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday met his British counterpart Theresa May here, saying India viewed the UK an important partner despite its decision to quit the EU.

This was Modi’s first bilateral with May, who succeeded David Cameron after he stepped down following the Brexit vote in June.

“PM underlined that even after BREXIT, the UK remained as important a partner for India as before,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup told reporters here.

The issue of terrorism also figured in the Modi-May meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

“PM said terrorism is the biggest threat and danger to the world and knows no boundaries. Alluding to the UK PM’s previous stint as Home Secretary, he said she was well aware of the dangers of terrorism,” Swarup quoted Modi saying.

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The leaders also discussed enhancing counter terrorism cooperation.

Modi told May that the meeting of the India-UK Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism had been very useful.

He called for greater collaboration in the area of cyber security and intelligence sharing.

May said she was keen to support Modi’s vision for India and take forward the broader strategic partnership, including the decisions taken during Modi’s visit to the UK in November.

She also underlined the great importance the UK attached to the Indian diaspora in UK.

He sought Modi’s suggestions on further strengthening the partnership, particularly trade and investment ties with the UK.

He referred to the recent launch of the HSBC Corporate Rupee Bond on the London Stock Exchange.

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India, he said, also needed more UK investment and participation in Make in India.

The Prime Minister also referred to the recent passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, which, he said, could further boost trade and investment ties with the UK.

Modi said he was working on making it easy to do business with India.

May said she supported Modi’s reform agenda and the UK was keen to participate in Make in India, Smart Cities and the Skill India Programme among others.

The two leaders discussed further enhancement of the defence partnership, with Modi inviting British defence firms to take part in Make in India.

Modi also touched on UK’s visa policy.

“In particular he said that the new UK regulations could have negative impact on Indian working professionals wishing to visit the UK for short term business visits” Swarup said.

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Modi invited May to visit India.



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