India and the UK on Friday agreed to increase their collaboration in the fields of Indo-Pacific cooperation, disaster resilience, climate change and development in third countries, as Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and British Permanent Under Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Simon McDonald met in New Delhi for foreign consultations.
The dialogue reviewed a year of progress since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK in April 2018 for the Commonwealth Summit, where he and British Prime Minister Theresa May had agreed on closer collaboration across trade and technology, security and people-to-people links.
“The two countries have, over the past year, identified specific areas to work together as a force for good, for example on a global coalition on climate resilience, on disaster relief and on development. Bilateral trade has grown by 14 per cent, and visas for Indian students have increased by 35 per cent,” a statement by the British High Commission said.
Also during the consultations, the instrument of the ratification of the UK joining the International Solar Alliance was formally handed over.
Speaking after the meeting, McDonald said, “The UK-India relationship is focused on the future: whether it be through the technology partnership, security collaboration or economic ties, our bilateral cooperation is designed to build shared prosperity and tackle future challenges.”
McDonald and Gokhale also reconfirmed the commitment made by their respective Prime Ministers to encourage closer business, cultural and intellectual cooperation, the British High Commission said.
“They expressed satisfaction on the level of political exchanges and decided to further intensify them in the coming months,” an MEA statement said.