Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves on 12 November for an official visit to the United Kingdom (12-14 Nov) and follows it up with a visit to Turkey (14-16 November).
He has a packed schedule in the UK, which has over 1.5 million people of Indian origin, many of whom are looking forward to hosting a massive reception for the PM at the famous Wembley Stadium on 13 November. British Prime Minister David Cameron has a host of events lined up for the Indian Prime Minister, including his personal meeting with PM Modi at The Chequers. His engagements in the UK will include a lunch hosted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the Buckingham Palace.
PM Modi’s schedule includes an address to the British Parliament. This is a significant gesture as the Parliament is not in session at present. He will also address the City of London at The Old Library, Guildhall, a visit to pay homage to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in London, and a tour of the JLR factory at Solihull.
He will also be visiting the home of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, which was recently acquired by the Government of Maharashtra and shall shortly be turned into a museum in his memory. On 14 November, the PM shall unveil a statue of Basaveshwara, a renowned philosopher, scholar and statesman.
Importance of the UK visit
The trip to UK, a first by an Indian PM in a decade, gathers significance as India is UK’s 3rd largest source of FDI, while UK holds the largest diplomatic mission in India. India, of course has old ties with UK but in the current context, UK is an important partner, given that it is an important financial hub besides being the fastest growing economy amongst the G-7 states.
With India’s rapidly growing economy offering an investment friendly environment, UK is keen to invest in the India growth story. ‘Make in India’ has drawn a lot of attention from the UK, which is eyeing significant investments in Defence, manufacturing, infrastructure, higher education, financial services and clean energy.
In Defence alone, UK is a major manufacturer and can offer state-of-the-art technologies to India for joint manufacture, as manufacturing costs are rising in UK. Same is true for several other manufacturing industries and India offers an attractive option and investment ecosystem.
Indian students pursuing higher education in the UK are among the largest communities contributing a sizeable amount to the UK forex kitty. UK is keen to further strengthen this relationship while India seeks greater cooperation and investment from the UK in higher education and research in India.
Visit to Turkey
On 14 November, PM Modi heads for Turkey to attend the important G-20 Summit. The meeting holds significance as it follows the landmark adoption of Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations and will be followed by the important meeting on Climate Change in Paris between 30 November and 1 December.
There are several serious issues of global concern that will come up for discussions and include climate change, the state of the global economy, investment, trade, employment, terrorism and the refugee crisis emanating from Syria. The Summit will review the progress made since the last meeting at Brisbane. India has been taking a pro-active approach in all international forums and PM Modi’s personal involvement at the Summit will further strengthen India’s commitment in addressing all matters of global concern.
The PM is also likely to highlight concerns over flow of black money, tax erosion and greater financial accountability and transparency. He will be meeting several world leaders on the sidelines as part of India’s continual International engagement.