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G20: Modi holds bilateral talks with Sunak, discusses trade, investment

India and UK will keep working for a prosperous and sustainable planet, the Indian PM tweeted after the meeting.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi with his British counterpart Rishi Sunak at a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit, at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi on Saturday, September 9, 2023. (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi on Saturday (9) held a bilateral meeting with his British counterpart Rishi Sunak on the sidelines of the G20 summit which kicked off in New Delhi the same day.

The meeting was held at the Bharat Mandapam at Pragati Maidan in the national capital, the venue of the summit after the first session got over. Earlier, Sunak greeted his Indian counterpart with a namaste after he received him at the venue.

During the bilateral meeting, the two leaders discussed ways on deepening trade linkages and boosting investment.

This was the first meeting between the two premiers since their talks on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima in Japan in May during which they discussed the much-talked about India-UK free trade agreement, innovation and science along with ways to strengthen the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two nations.

Modi posted on X about his meeting with Sunak, saying, “Great to have met PM @RishiSunak
on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Delhi. We discussed ways to deepen trade linkages and boost investment. India and UK will keep working for a prosperous and sustainable planet.”

All eyes were on the meeting between Modi and Sunak because of the free trade deal. Ahead of reaching Delhi for the summit on Friday (8), Sunak said that a trade deal with India was not guaranteed. He hoped to use the meeting with Modi to overcome some of the final hurdles that lie on the way of the deal, including on the sensitive issue of visas for Indian workers and students going to the UK.

’15 years ago, G20…’

Earlier in the day, Sunak said while participating in the first session on ‘One Earth’ during the summit that the world was looking up to G20 to provide leadership and that the leaders were meeting at a time when the challenges were enormous. The British prime minister expressed confidence that the leaders will together succeed in addressing the challenges.

In a post on X, Sunak said, “15 years ago, #G20 leaders came together for the first time to restore global growth after the financial crisis. We meet at a time of enormous challenges – the world is looking to the G20 once again to provide leadership. Together I believe we can address these challenges.

Sunak reached India with his Indian-born Akshata Murty and visited the British Council on Friday where they interacted with schoolchildren and officials.

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