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India: Economic and Security Relationship

Volume 710: debated on Tuesday 8 March 2022

6. What diplomatic steps she has taken to strengthen the UK’s economic and security relationship with India. (905925)

India is the world’s sixth largest economy and an important partner for the UK. In May last year, the UK and India committed to strengthening our economic and security relationship through a new comprehensive strategic partnership. Our trade with, and investment in, India is set to grow further, and we continue to work together on security and defence.

Does my hon. Friend agree that the UK’s development finance organisation, British International Investment, has a critical role to play in strengthening our economic ties with India and promoting the entrepreneurial spirit that our two countries share?

I completely agree about the importance of British International Investment across the world. I point to the firm statement that the Foreign Secretary gave to the Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday, in which she emphasised the need to strengthen our economic and defence relationship with India in order to pull it away from the orbit of authoritarian regimes such as Russia.

With India arbitrarily detaining UK nationals such as my constituent Jagtar Singh Johal for over four years now and failing to defend the democratic right of national self-determination for Ukraine, can the Minister tell us how the trade negotiations are going?

Again, I point to the important statement that the Foreign Secretary made yesterday. It is vital that we continue to strengthen our economic and defence relationship with India. However, the constituency case of Jagtar Singh Johal that the hon. Gentleman mentions was raised by the Foreign Secretary recently with her counterparts in India.