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Joint Statement issued after INDIA-UK Summit

January 21, 2008

JOINT STATEMENT

  • The India-UK annual Summit was held in Delhi on January 21, 2008. The delegation from the United Kingdom was led by Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown MP and that from India was led by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

    India-UK Strategic Partnership
  • India and the UK share a Strategic Partnership. The two Sides underscored their commitment to the Strategic Partnership launched in 2004 and reaffirmed their shared conviction in the values of democracy, fundamental freedoms, pluralism, rule of law, respect for human rights and multilateralism in the international political and financial architecture as the means to tackle global challenges effectively. The close bilateral relationship has already led to growing cooperation in global affairs and substantial expansion in the bilateral engagement in multiple fields. Building on the achievements of the ‘New Delhi Declaration' (2002) and ‘India-UK Joint Declaration' (2004), the two Sides commit themselves to strengthening and deepening the comprehensive Strategic Partnership that exists between the two countries, which is underpinned by growing economic ties and the presence of a large Indian Diaspora in the UK.

    Economic & Commercial
  • Bilateral economic linkages are strengthening through increased trade and investment flows. The UK is the third largest cumulative investor in India. India has emerged as one of the largest investors in the UK, including several major acquisitions, reflecting the maturing nature of the bilateral economic partnership. The UK is among India's important global trading partners. The two Sides acknowledged the potential for greater collaboration especially in hi-tech (ICT, life sciences, nano-technology etc.), research, advanced manufacturing, infrastructure, energy, healthcare, agricultural products and processed foods, higher education and other service sectors.
  • Both sides took note of the outcome of the 4th meeting of the India-UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) held in London on 13 December 2007. This meeting reviewed various aspects of bilateral trade and received valuable feedback from businesses on both sides on measures that could further enhance bilateral trade and investment flows. India and the United Kingdom agreed to cooperate in developing collaboration between Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. The Prime Ministers welcomed the meeting of a CEOs' Round Table and Entrepreneurs' Summit of Indian and UK business leaders in Delhi. In the light of the rapidly growing trade and economic relations and the rapidly evolving pattern of international competitive advantage, both governments acknowledged the considerable potential for bilateral trade, investment and services. They noted the importance of improving market access through liberalization and facilitating movement of professionals across a broad range of sectors of interest to both sides.
  • Both sides took note of the large opportunities in the infrastructure sector, in the context of the massive infrastructure development programme being undertaken in India. Facilitating the flow of information on the infrastructure projects being undertaken would encourage business partnerships. Both sides agreed to take forward proposals for the establishment of a capacity building programme in India for public-private partnership in infrastructure with UK support.
  • India and the United Kingdom noted the role played by people of Indian origin in Britain. Through their hard work, dynamism and entrepreneurial talents they have made an enormous contribution to the strengthening of bilateral ties.

    Education
  • The two Sides noted the traditionally close ties between the two knowledge societies in the field of Higher Education. They recognised that the UK-India Education & Research Initiative (UKIERI), launched in April 2006, was playing an important role in fostering such contacts. They further noted the huge expansion planned in the Indian Higher Education sector which would increase the gross enrolment ratio by 5 percentage points and include the establishment of a range of central government institutions of excellence including 8 new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), 7 new Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), 5 Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research and 30 new Central Universities. It was agreed that both sides would forge a closer partnership in the field of Higher Education, for further developing education and skills to the mutual advantage of the students and faculty of both countries. While exploring new avenues of collaboration to further deepen the cooperation, the two Sides agreed to initiate specific measures to collaborate in the field of higher education. In particular they agreed: to establish an Education Forum to work towards an early conclusion of an Education Partnership Agreement;
  • to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding on an India-UK Higher Education Leadership Development Programme to develop leadership skills in Indian and UK universities; to establish a Programme, under UKIERI, to support faculty development in key Indian universities with participation of leading UK academics; to develop further student and faculty exchange programmes and partnerships with a commitment of further funding from the UK government; and to promote pro-actively links between British Universities and the premier educational institutions in India including collaborating for the establishment of at least one new Indian Institute of Technology, one new Indian Institute of Science Education and Research and one Central University proposed in the XI Five Year Plan. The latter would be taken forward through a meeting between a British delegation, including Vice Chancellors and their Indian counterparts later in the year. They further agreed to work towards mutual recognition of degrees, diplomas and other academic qualifications supported through greater co-operation between the relevant UK and Indian authorities. The two Sides agreed to the further development of UK/India collaboration on English Language Training. The two Governments recognize the strong interest of higher educational institutions of both countries to work together to further their global educational objectives.

    Research, Science & Technology
  • India and the UK see considerable potential for growth in Research, Science and Technology collaboration. They share the vision for further strengthening their partnership through new and existing initiatives and agree to widen discussion to all research funding bodies in both countries through the India-UK Science and Innovation Council mechanism. The UK's proposal to establish a Research Councils UK (RCUK) office in India is a welcome development that would lead to enhanced collaboration between the two countries. Underlining the importance for further developing Research and S&T cooperation, India and the UK shall establish a Science Bridges Initiative to build institution to institution relationships on equal partnership with joint funding under the principle of parity. RCUK will contribute £ 4 million with a matching grant from Department of Science and Technology (DST) India to promote this initiative. The UK and India also agree to support a further round of UKIERI awards designed to establish networking links between Indian and UK education and research institutions with the UK committing £ 2 million over 3 years and DST agreeing to match this funding on a parity basis. DST and the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) UK also agreed to collaborate on the initial phase of development of major projects in select research areas.

    Civil Nuclear Cooperation
  • The two Sides strongly emphasised the potential of civil nuclear energy to be a safe, sustainable and non-polluting source of energy, which could make a significant contribution to meeting the global challenge of achieving energy security, sustainable development, economic growth, and limiting climate change. The UK supports the India-US civil nuclear co-operation initiative with all its elements, including an appropriate India specific exemption to the Nuclear Suppliers Group Guidelines. As two countries with advanced nuclear technology, India and the UK agree to promote co-operation in civil nuclear energy and will work expeditiously towards a bilateral agreement for this purpose, in line with their strong commitment to non-proliferation. The two Sides will also continue to encourage their scientists to develop closer links and to co-operate in research in this field. The two Sides also welcome the opportunity for their scientists to work together in the context of ITER.

    Climate Change
  • India and the UK recognise the need to find effective and practical solutions to address concerns regarding climate change and its implications for human kind. These would include mitigation and adaptation strategies in a manner that supports further economic and social development in particular of developing countries. Long-term convergence of per capita emission rates is an important and equitable principle that should be seriously considered in the context of international climate change negotiations. They expressed satisfaction over the successful outcome at Bali that reaffirmed the relevance of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including its provision and principles, in particular the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. The process established under the Bali Road Map should aim for enhanced implementation of the UNFCCC and give due weight to issues of concern to developing countries, in particular those relating to addressing adaptation, technology, and financing arrangements. In the field of bilateral cooperation on climate change, the two Sides expressed satisfaction over the announcement of a UK-India Agreement on the second phase of UK-India Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Study.

    The UK and India are convinced that development of the international carbon market is important for the future and wish to explore new approaches to market related investment that offer the potential to drive technology transfer. The two Sides shall work towards the success of the second Phase of a project aimed at identifying the barriers to low carbon technology transfer. They will also collaborate on a project piloting implementation of programmatic CDM in India this year to jointly explore the potential of this to facilitate up-scaling of carbon market investment in accordance with India's future development priorities. Both sides recognised the importance of Research and Development collaboration on low carbon energy technologies and welcomed the broadening dialogue between the two countries on clean coal technologies and other power generation technologies.

    MDGs

  • The two Sides agreed that an urgent global effort is required to meet the MDGs. India and the UK agreed to enhance efforts to achieve the MDGs and reduce global poverty. The two parties launched a new Partnership to Achieve the MDGs Globally. The two countries committed to harness their combined knowledge, experience and resources towards this goal including through third country cooperation. India and the UK will start by scoping opportunities to collaborate in third countries where both parties have a development interest. India and the UK would jointly consider ways and means to reform the international institutions. While noting the establishment of the mechanism for this purpose under the Commonwealth at the Kampala CHOGM 2007, the two Prime Ministers agreed that India and the UK should exchange views bilaterally on this important agenda. They agreed the importance of continued exchange of experiences and future cooperation on international policies on major global public goods that impact on the global achievement of the MDGs.

    WTO
  • India and the UK strongly support an early, fair and ambitious outcome of the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations. A successful conclusion of the Doha Agenda must focus on the development dimension. Existing differences amongst members have to be overcome for the benefit of all. Close cooperation between India and the UK will make a significant contribution to achieve a balanced and comprehensive agreement.

    India-EU
  • India and the UK noted with satisfaction the growing partnership between India and the EU. They welcomed the progress made in the negotiations between India and the EU for a broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement and expressed their commitment for an early and mutually beneficial conclusion of the negotiations for such an agreement. They noted with satisfaction the success of the 8th India-EU Summit held in New Delhi on November 30, 2007.

    International
  • The two Sides discussed a range of other international issues, and agreed on the importance of more representative and effective international institutions to address global challenges. The two Sides agreed that a reformed UN Security Council that better reflected the realities of the 21st century would enhance global cooperation and security. The UK reaffirmed its firm support for India's candidature for a permanent membership in an expanded UNSC.
  • They reaffirmed their sustained commitment to supporting the Afghan government in the stabilisation and rebuilding of Afghanistan, and reiterated the importance of coherent international efforts to address the development needs of Afghanistan. They urged Iran to co-operate fully with the IAEA and fulfil the requirements of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, to address international concerns about its nuclear programme. In this regard, they underlined the importance of continued dialogue with Iran. The leaders emphasised the urgent need for a comprehensive, just and durable peace in the Middle East/West Asia. They reaffirmed their support for a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on existing agreements, including relevant UNSC Resolutions, the Roadmap, and the Arab League Resolution (Beirut 2002), and urged the parties to work toward this end. The UK and India are committed to contributing to peace and prosperity in Africa. They reiterated their firm belief in the New Partnership for Africa's Development, a key framework for socio-economic development. Both sides recognised the importance of enhancing efforts to support peace and security in Africa, and the UK paid particular tribute to India's contribution to UN Peace Keeping Operations. India and the UK will work with international partners to support implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between North and South Sudan. They will support AU-UN efforts to reach a lasting political settlement for Darfur, underpinned by an effective peacekeeping force. They called on all parties to the conflict to immediately cease all hostilities and commit themselves to a sustained and permanent ceasefire.
  • The two Sides shared the hope that Pakistan would see an early return to stability and prosperity and recognised the importance of free and fair Parliamentary elections on 18 February. They agreed that the process of national reconciliation and political reform in Burma/Myanmar should be inclusive, broad-based and taken forward expeditiously, so as to bring about genuine reconciliation and progress towards democracy. They expressed their strong support for the ongoing good offices of the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy, and their shared hope that he be able to visit Burma/Myanmar again as soon as possible. They welcomed the announcement of elections in Nepal on 10 April and urged all parties to cooperate and maintain the declared date to ensure a free and fair process, open to all without intimidation. It is for the people of Nepal to decide their own future. Both sides would like to see a peaceful, stable and democratic Bangladesh, where the people of Bangladesh will be able to exercise their will through free and fair elections. They agreed that there is no military solution to the conflict in Sri Lanka, and urged the Sri Lankan government to put forward a credible devolution package as a key contribution to finding a political settlement acceptable to all communities within the framework of a united Sri Lanka.

    Counter Terrorism
  • Terrorism is a global threat requiring a global response. Both sides underline the importance of joint international efforts in countering terrorism which is not justified under any circumstances. They agree to intensify mutual exchange of views, experiences and practical cooperation in the fight against terrorism, both through bilateral channels and in multilateral forums. They shall strengthen cooperation through the Indo-UK Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism. Multilaterally, the two countries remain committed to pursuing as soon as possible agreement in the UN on the Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism. Bilaterally, the UK and India agreed to build on existing co-operation including in the protection of critical national infrastructure, mass transit systems and the security of major sporting events/UK, and expand it further in the fields of Civil Aviation security and crisis management. In addition, it was agreed to establish a new bilateral dialogue on Terrorist Financing. The UK reiterated its support for India's full membership of the Financial Action Task Force.
Signed in New Delhi on 21 January 2008.

Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India
Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown MP
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
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