• Tuesday, March 05, 2024

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UK chancellor Hunt reaches India’s Bengaluru for G20 finance meet, bilateral talks

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 17: Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt departs Downing Street to present the Autumn Statement to the House of Commons on November 17, 2022 in London, England. The Chancellor hopes his fiscal plans will restore market confidence in the UK’s economic outlook, as well as head off a cost-of-living crisis. (Photo by Rob Pinney/Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

UK CHANCELLOR Jeremy Hunt on Thursday (23) reached Bengaluru in India at take part in the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting scheduled for Friday (24) and Saturday (25) and bilateral talks with the host nation to enhance the UK-India economic partnership.

In what is his first foreign visit since taking charge of the UK treasury last October, Hunt will meet his Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman besides a number of senior Indian business leaders and tech CEOs to explore collaborations.

Hunt’s office said his visit to India aims to strengthen an already productive economic relationship between the UK and India and deepen ties with a rising “economic superpower” to create new investments and jobs in the UK.

“I want the UK to be the world’s next Silicon Valley – this is an ambition within reach thanks to our status as a global financial powerhouse and home to world class universities and research institutions,” Hunt said on the eve of his visit to the south Asian nation.

“We already have a $1 trillion (£830 billion) tech industry, but we want to go further to create jobs and wealth across the UK. To help us get there, we need to deepen investment connections with like-minded countries around the world – starting with our Indian friends who are fast becoming an economic superpower in their own right,” he told the Press Trust of India.

Alex Ellis, British high commissioner to India, said the UK is working with India to solve the world’s biggest challenges, through its G20 presidency.

“As we work towards an ambitious free trade agreement to help double UK-India trade by 2030, it is great that the chancellor can be in Bengaluru, India’s Silicon Valley,” he said.

The chancellor’s team said he will be meeting Indian tech CEOs and founders in Bengaluru, India’s information technology capital, to explore investment opportunities and how links with India can help the UK become the world’s next Silicon Valley.

“India is projected to be the world’s third-largest economy by 2050, with a tech industry that generated $227 billion (£188.4 billion) in revenue in FY2022. It is already a significant economic partner for the UK, and the Chancellor is seeking to promote greater collaboration between the two countries,” the treasury said.

Coinciding with the one-year anniversary of the Russia-Ukraine conflict this week, the UK government has said the finance minister will use the G20 talks to reaffirm the UK’s “unwavering support” for Ukraine and discuss with other members ways to address issues such as elevated global inflationary pressures and the instability in energy and food prices that are being exacerbated by the conflict.

During his visit, Hunt and Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey will also join a meeting of G7 finance ministers.

It follows the latest move on behalf of the G7, the European Union (EU) and Australia, who via a Price Cap Coalition, set caps on the price of seaborne Russian oil products effective from February 5, 2023.

High-value Russian exports such as diesel and gasoline are capped at $100 (£83) while lower-value products such as fuel oil are capped at $45 (£37.35). Meanwhile, the UK points to having phased out the import of Russian oil and oil products last year.

The treasury added that the chancellor’s work at the G20 will also contribute to the Rishi Sunak-led government’s priorities to curb inflation this year by half to ease the cost of living and give people financial security; grow the economy, create better-paid jobs and opportunity right across the country; and make sure the UK’s national debt decreases.

(PTI)

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