Modi’s UK Visit Highlights

The Prime Minister has just concluded the UK leg of his two-nation tour that began on 12 November and concluded on 14 November. He has now proceeded to Turkey to attend the key G-20 Summit.

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The highlights of his UK tour is as below:

Political and Diplomatic impact

The tour has been a great success as it has reinforced India’s status as a rising power, based on the warm reception and endorsement received from the British government, the British Parliament and from all sections of British business houses.

The tour started off with a Guard of Honour given to PM Modi that was followed by an address to the British Parliament. The fact that the Parliament received PM Modi for an address despite not being in session, testifies the importance the UK Government attached to his visit and the Indian growth story that he represented.

In a further gesture and recognition of the importance of the Prime Minister’s visit, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II hosted Narendra Modi for lunch at the Buckingham Palace.

Trade and Investment

PM Modi and PM David Cameron jointly attended and addressed the UK-India CEO Forum. Both sides committed to raise the current level of trade and investment. UK trade with India is currently ranked 18th and this tour will be a catalyst to raise that level.

$13.7 billion worth trade agreements were signed and included:

Proposed Investment in India

  • OPG Ventures – $4350 million: to set up a 3200 MW thermal and renewable power plant in Tamil Nadu.
  • Lightsource Investment –  $3000 million: to set up 3GW solar power generation infrastructure in 5 years.
  • Vodafone Investments – $1950 million: expanding services under Digital India and Make in India initiative.
  • King’s College Hospital – $1500 million: to open a new hospital in Chandigarh.
  • Kloudpad Mobility Research – $150 million: to manufacture, wearables, smart watches and tablets.
  • Merlin Entertainments – $75 million: to set up the famous Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in India.
  • Holland & Barrett International – $30 million: to set up 1000 outlets in India in joint venture with Apollo Hospitals Group.
  • Genus ABS – $1.5 million: to invest in dairy genetics and a state-of-the-art plant in Pune.

Proposed Investment in UK

  • Indiabulls – $100 million: to invest in OakNorth Bank Ltd in the UK.
  • TVS Investment – $30 million: to open an Advanced Logistics Centre in the UK.
  • SSPSL, a subsidiary of Strides Shasun – $12 million: to expand their existing facility in the UK.
  • Advatech – $7.5 million: to provide IT services to Ambulance network in the UK.
  • Wipro Digital; to expand its office in the UK and will be hiring 200 over 12 months.

Financial Services

  • Yes Bank and LSE signed an agreement to list Green Bonds and GDRs worth $1.4 billion.
  • HDFC to issue $750 million worth of rupee denominated bonds for trading on the London Stock Exchange.
  • Bharti Airtel Ltd to issue $760 million sterling bond for trade on the London Stock Exchange.

Social and Cultural engagements

The highlight was the grand reception given by over 60,000 Indian diaspora to the Prime Minister at the Wembley Stadium. In one of the largest gatherings ever for hosting a Prime Minister, the Indian diaspora organized a slew of cultural programmes highlighting aspects of both Indian and British culture. This was followed by a warm welcome speech by Prime Minister David Cameron and followed up by the much-awaited speech by Narendra Modi, who enthralled the crowd by recognizing their contribution in building Indo-British relations and the potential that India offered to the world as a rising power.

PM Modi paid respects to Mahatma Gandhi’s statue outside the British Parliament, visited the recently acquired house of Dr B.R. Ambedkar that will soon be turned into a museum on his life and contribution, and unveiled a statue of Basaveshwara, a renowned philosopher, scholar and statesman.

On the last day, the PM visited the JLR-Land Rover factory at Solihull.

The Prime Minister also took time out to meet various Indian community leaders.