Media Center

Transcript of Media Statements by Prime Ministers of India and the United Kingdom at the India-UK Summit 2013

February 19, 2013

Official Spokesperson (Shri Syed Akbaruddin): Ladies and gentlemen and friends from the media, we will have media statements now. I request the Prime Minister of India to make his media statement.

Prime Minister of India (Dr. Manmohan Singh): Your Excellency Prime Minister David Cameron; members of the British Delegation; ladies and gentlemen of the Media:

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Prime Minister David Cameron on his official visit to our country. Prime Minister David Cameron’s strong personal commitment and leadership have imparted a strong momentum to the strategic partnership between India and the United Kingdom. His first visit to India as Prime Minister in 2010 a few months after he assumed office, laid the foundation of our enhanced partnership for the future, which is defined by a high level of economic and technological cooperation and close coordination on many common regional and global challenges.

This morning, Prime Minister and I reviewed the entire expanse of our bilateral relations. We expressed satisfaction with progress in our economic engagement, while stressing the need to do more to take the relationship to a new high level. We discussed ways to generate higher growth in our trade. I invited increased British investments in India, including in infrastructure and energy. We have asked our officials to explore British participation in India’s National Manufacturing Investment Zones, and in a possible industrial corridor in the Mumbai-Bangalore sector.

I have sought Prime Minister David Cameron’s support in ensuring an early conclusion of a fair, balanced and forward-looking agreement on trade and investment between India and the European Union which will open new opportunities for trade and investment between our two countries. We discussed the prospects of enhanced cooperation in the development of the defence industrial base of India through greater emphasis on technology transfer, co-production and co-development.

I also conveyed to the Prime Minister our very serious concerns regarding allegations about unethical means used in securing the 2010 contract for Agusta Westland helicopters. I told him that we have sought an explanation from the company by February 22 to examine if the contractual provisions on unethical practices and the Integrity Pact have been violated. I have sought full assistance from the UK in this case. Prime Minister David Cameron has assured me of the cooperation of his Government in the investigation.

Education and science and technology are special areas of India-UK cooperation. I have impressed upon the Prime Minister the need for a visa regime that facilitates greater movement of people between our two countries so that this cooperation can be further energized.

I thanked Prime Minister Cameron for the United Kingdom’s support for India’s full membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and other multilateral export control regimes. We have also decided to commence negotiations on a bilateral Civil Nuclear Agreement.

Prime Minister David Cameron and I also had very candid and productive discussions on regional and global issues. We shared our perspectives on the security and political transition in Afghanistan. I conveyed India’s enduring commitment to assist Afghanistan through the transition and beyond by supporting its economic growth, and regional economic integration, and helping develop its capacity for governance, development and security in accordance with our strategic partnership agreement with Afghanistan.

We also had productive discussions on other issues in our immediate neighbourhood including Iran and West Asia. We agreed to further intensify our cooperation in combating terrorism. We have also increased our engagement on cyber security.

Prime Minister David Cameron and I have agreed that in keeping with our strategic relationship, it is important for our two sides to consult closely and remain sensitive to each other’s interests.

Prime Minister’s visit is another milestone in the development of our bilateral relations. It has been a pleasure working with him, and I look forward to continuing our mutual partnership.

I thank you.

Official Spokesperson: I request Prime Minister Cameron to make his media statement.

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (Mr. David Cameron): First of all, can I thank Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the warm welcome that he has given to me and to my Delegation?

We have had excellent discussions this morning, further evidence of the very strong relationship and the strong partnership that we are forging and that our two countries are forging. As I have said, I believe it has all the potential for a very special partnership in the years and decades ahead.

This is the second visit I have made to India as Prime Minister over the last two and a half years, and on this visit I brought the biggest business and other delegation to leave Britain’s shores I think in our history not just top figures from British business but also museums, universities, cultural institutions, and indeed sport including premier league football. I think this is evidence of the broad, deep, wide, strong partnership our countries want to build together.

I note, Prime Minister, what you have just said about taking our relationship to a new higher level. In terms of business and trade, I think we are on track to meet our commitment to double our bilateral trade to 23 billion pounds by 2015. We are looking for the opportunity to go further and to open further British trade offices here in India. We want to create a pan-Indian network of British business centres by 2017 and aim to deliver this through a partnership with the UK-India Business Council and other business groups.

We are exited by the potential of examining with you a corridor of new towns between Bangalore and Mumbai as a special partnership to deliver the infrastructure and growth that you are embarked on.

As you said, Prime Minister, we want to make progress, very rapid progress on the EU-India Free Trade Agreement. I think there is a window of opportunity if all sides can now look at what extra they can bring to completing a deal that could do as much as anything to help growth both here in India and in the European Union.

We discussed today how we should both be looking at how we reduce the barriers to investment in our countries, and specifically the British have said that we are going to bring in a same-day visa service for Indian business, that we have made absolutely clear there is no number on the number of Indian students that can study in British universities so long as they have a place and an English language qualification, and we have also said that we are going to rewrite the rules on sharing technology so we can increase the amount of high technology exports between Britain and India.

As the Prime Minister said, we had a good discussion on security and defence cooperation. We are going to have a new programme of collaboration on cyber security, which we discussed today. And we are also going to, as I said, treat each other as full and trusted partners in the sharing of advanced technologies.

In terms of Agusta Westland, as the Prime Minister has said we will respond to any request for information. I am glad that the Italian authorities are looking into this issue in detail as Finmeccanica, the parent company of Agusta Westland, is an Italian company. Let me make absolutely clear that in Britain we have introduced anti-bribery legislation that is probably the strongest anywhere in the world, and we will root out any problems of bribery or corruption wherever they appear and whenever they appear.

We both discussed at length our cooperation in terms of fighting terrorism. Both our countries have been victim to terrorism and we will work together. We agreed on the need for a stable and secure Pakistan in peace with itself and its neighbours, and which has eradicated the threat that terrorism poses both within and beyond its borders. We said that part of that must include bringing to justice the perpetrators of the terrible attack in Mumbai, and we will work together to that end.

We discussed the situation in Afghanistan. Let me make it clear that Britain is not abandoning Afghanistan. We will continue to support Afghanistan even after our troops have left, through the training of the Afghan armed forces, and we will back that with substantial long-term economic aid. All of this is part of a broader international effort to continue to support Afghanistan’s security and development and to make sure it can never again become a haven of terror.

In terms of foreign policy cooperation, we discussed our joint positions in the Commonwealth; we talked about the situation in Sri Lanka; the need for free and fair elections in the Maldives, the prospects for progress in Burma, in Myanmar, and also for the need for Iran to pursue a path in the future not with a nuclear weapon.

As I have said, I think there have been very purposeful, very frank discussions between two politicians who enjoy working together and who know that their two countries’ futures should be inextricably linked in what I call the very special partnership in the years ahead. Everything I have seen on this my second visit to India since becoming Prime Minister and my third since I became Leader of the Opposition and picked out India as the first major visit I wanted to undertake, has demonstrated further to me that the potential of this relationship is immense. And we are committed to working together to make sure we will realize its full potential in every regard.

Thank you.

Official Spokesperson: With that we come to the end of this event. Thank you very much.

(Concluded)

New Delhi
February 19, 2013


Keep me Updated

0 Comments

Post A Comment

  • Name * E-mail *
  • Write Your Comment *
  • Verification Code * Verification Code