India, UK enter into partnership on Infrastructure Policy and Financing

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Rishi Sunak, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, signed several Joint statements during the 10th India-UK EFD. (Twitter/Ministry of Finance)

New Delhi [India], October 28 (ANI): Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Rishi Sunak, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, on Wednesday signed the joint statements including new UK-India Partnership on Infrastructure Policy and Financing to support the Indian National Infrastructure Pipeline with UK commercial expertise and financing.
At the first session on Global Responses to coronavirus during the 10th India-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) through video conferencing, India and the UK entered into a strategic partnership to accelerate the development of Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City as an international financial centre, including regulatory capacity building support for the new International Financial Services Centre Authority.
According to an official statement issued by the British High Commission, "India and the UK agreed on a new UK-India Partnership on Infrastructure Policy and Financing to support the Indian National Infrastructure Pipeline with UK commercial expertise and financing."
The UK and India made agreements on financial services, infrastructure and sustainable finance today, helping to boost jobs and investments in both countries, the statement read.
Both the countries agreed to strengthen cooperation on mobilising private capital into green investment, including through a new UK-India Sustainable Finance Forum and greening the financial system.
India and the UK also agreed upon a fresh mandate for the industry-led India-UK Financial Partnership to explore closer financial ties in areas including FinTech.
During the conference, an agreement was also reached to create a new Financial Markets Dialogue to remove regulatory and market access barriers for UK and Indian firms.
"Agreement was also reached on joint investment by UK Research and Innovation and India's Department of Biotechnology in research collaborations worth up to pound 8 million to understand the impact of COVID-19 in South Asian populations in the UK and India," the High Commission said.
Following the meeting, the Ministry of Finance said in a tweet, "Finance Minister Smt. @nsitharaman said that India-UK economic ties are important, as together they are two of the world's top seven economies with a combined GDP of over USD 5 trillion."
In another tweet, the Ministry said, "Finance Minister Sitharaman said that India-UK trade has more than doubled since the first EFD in 2007, with bilateral investment supporting over half a million jobs across both countries."
"Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) have committed up to pound 2.6m for four joint research projects on the future of UK-India trade and investment," the Ministry said in one of the tweets.
During the virtual meet, Sitharaman also said that this session on sharing of experiences on coronavirus response -- domestic priorities and policies for economic recovery (fiscal and monetary) -- will help both countries "refine their policies and help in learning to ensure better outcomes."
"The UK's economic and financial relationship with India has never been more important with the global challenges we face. Today we set out our ambition for even stronger ties, with an agreement that will increase investment and create and secure jobs. We are also committed to working together to lead the global economic recovery as we build back better after the pandemic," said Rishi Sunak, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer.
"Finance Minister Smt. @nsitharaman expressed pleasure that UK-India Capital Markets Working Group led by the City of London Corporation, in partnership with the IUKFP, for attracting inflows to India's Capital Market will help the economy," the Ministry said in a following tweet.
"Finance Minister Smt. @nsitharaman said that she is looking forward to the start of the Annual India-UK Financial Markets Dialogue from next year," another tweet read.
Sitharaman further said that the Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF) was launched in 2018 as a joint venture with pound 240 million funding to catalyse financing into green infrastructure in India. British Petroleum has become the first private investor, contributing USD 70 million.
India and UK have increased cooperation through the International Solar Alliance and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and co-chaired by the UK, the Minister said.
She also said that India's USD 1.4 trillion National Infrastructure Pipeline and the City of London are working together to ensure flows of sustainable finance. "This partnership is helping set up a Project Preparation Support Facility cum Centre of Excellence for PPP Projects," she said.
"FM Smt. @nsitharaman stated the UK-India FinTech Joint Working Group met in March 2020 to seek greater acceptance of RuPay Cards in UK. She said that FinTech is a key engagement area for cooperation as a Sunshine Sector where India is No. 4 in terms of potential," the Ministry stated.
It further said that UK-India Fast-Track Start-Up Fund backed by SIDBI and the UK Government will fund early-stage tech start-ups with technical assistance focused on capacity building, policy advocacy and deepening entrepreneurial connects with the UK.
"In her concluding remarks to the 10th India-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue, Finance Minister thanked all participants and said that she is looking forward to the 11th India-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue," the Ministry added. (ANI)