India, UK Hold First Financial Markets Dialogue Via Virtual Meet
The UK-India Financial Markets Dialogue (FMD) held its first virtual meeting on Thursday, July 8, to strengthen bilateral financial connections, according to the British High Commission (BHC). Government-to-government conversations took place during the Dialogue to increase cooperation on four major themes: Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City, banking and payments, insurance, and capital markets.
Joint Statement from UK-India 1st Financial Markets Dialogue, read, "On 8 July 2021, senior officials from HM Treasury and the Indian Ministry of Finance held the 1st UK-India Financial Markets Dialogue."
Senior officials from the UK Treasury and the Indian Ministry of Finance chaired the meeting, which also included representatives from independent British and Indian regulatory organisations, according to BHC. Last year, at the tenth Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) between the UK and India, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman agreed to establish the Financial Markets Dialogue to strengthen financial services cooperation and address regulatory barriers for UK and Indian firms.
In 2020, bilateral trade between the UK and India was worth over £18 billion, with India being the UK's second-largest source of investment in terms of project volume. Nearly half a million employees are supported by British and Indian investments in each other's economy.
BHC said, "In May this year, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced their ambition to double the value of UK-India trade over the next decade as well as a shared intent to begin work towards negotiations on a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA)."
Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India, said, "The 2030 Roadmap agreed by Prime Ministers Modi and Johnson aims for a transformation of the UK-India relationship, especially as we look to build back better from Covid-19. The first Financial Markets Dialogue held today will strengthen links on financial services and create new opportunities for UK and Indian businesses. I'm pleased to see the strong progress we have already made ahead of the upcoming Economic and Financial Dialogue between our finance ministers."