A $1.2 billion package of public and private investment in green projects and renewable energy are among the new steps to tackle climate change and boost investment announced by UK Chancellor of Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday.

Apart from the package, Sunak and Sitharaman announced the joint launch of the Climate Finance Leadership Initiative (CFLI) India partnership to mobilise private capital into sustainable infrastructure in India.

The announcements were made at the 11th Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) between the UK and India, a release from the British High Commission said.

These investments will support India’s target of 450GW renewable energy by 2030.

“The UK-India economic relationship is already strong with bilateral trade of over 18 bn pounds in 2020, supporting nearly half-a-million jobs in each other’s economies. Earlier this year, the UK and Indian Prime Ministers launched the ‘UK-India 2030 Roadmap’, to bring the economies and people closer together over the next decade and boost cooperation in areas that matter to both countries. The countries have also set out an ambitious goal to double the trade by 2030, including through negotiating a Free Trade Agreement,” the release said.

Sunak and Sitharaman also agreed to be ambitious when considering services in the upcoming UK-India trade negotiations, which could open up new opportunities for UK financial firms and help more Indian companies to access finance in the city of London. Services account for 71 per cent of the UK’s GDP, and 54 per cent of India’s GDP, the release said.

Sunak, said: “The UK and India already have strong ties, and today we’ve made important new agreements to boost our relationship and deliver for both our countries. Supporting India’s green growth is a shared priority, so I’m pleased that we’ve announced a $1.2bn investment package, and launched the new CFLI India partnership, to boost investment in sustainable projects in India as the UK gears up to host COP26…”

High Commissioner to India, Alex Ellis, said: “The Economic and Financial Dialogue between our Finance Ministers is another step towards realising the ambition agreed between Prime Ministers (Boris) Johnson and (Narendra) Modi in the 2030 bilateral Roadmap; especially, with the COP26 climate conference starting in Glasgow in two months, in tackling climate change. Today’s discussions and agreements show what closer economic and financial ties between the UK and India can offer.”

The UK also welcomed India’s recent decision to lift the Foreign Direct Investment cap in the insurance sector from 49 per cent to 74 per cent, which will help British firms to take greater ownership of their operations in India, the release added.

–IANS

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