See More on Facebook

Diplomacy, Economics

Britain rolls out red carpet for Modi, Indian investment

Theresa May’s government rolled out the red carpet for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is set to invest in post-Brexit UK.


Written by

Updated: April 20, 2018

Britain has rolled out the red carpet for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), in the hope of forging stronger trade and economic ties with India in the post-Brexit era.

Modi and 52 other heads of state and governments are attending the CHOGM, which was formally inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth at the Buckingham Palace on April 19.

This is the first time in a decade an Indian prime minister is attending the summit, which is held every two years. Prince Charles travelled to India to personally invite the Prime Minister. The Queen, too, sent a personal note inviting Modi.

India – for which the Commonwealth is a strategic multilateral forum from which China, its great rival, is absent – is going to invest more than a billion pounds in post-Brexit Britain.

The two countries signed multiple agreements and MoUs in technology, defence, security, trade and investment when Modi met his British counterpart Theresa May at her official residence 10, Downing Street on April 18.

The Guardian reported Britain is “lavishing diplomatic attention over Narendra Modi”.

“The Indian prime minister has been rewarded for his commitment to the Commonwealth with Wednesday’s lengthy bilateral meeting with May, an audience with the Queen, a visit with Prince Charles to the Science Museum and a commitment that British intelligence will help fight Pakistan-based militant groups,” it reported.

The Guardian, however, noted that Brexit opponents claim the chances of Britain securing a trade deal with India is a “fantasy” unless the UK makes major concessions on Indian skilled labour accessing British markets.

Modi is being driven around in a limousine, while all other Commonwealth leaders are travelling in a bus, NDTV reported.

The Independent reported that Modi has called for even closer trading links with Britain after Brexit. It quoted Modi as saying that London – as a world leading financial services hub – will remain “of great importance” to India. There will be “no dilution in the importance of the UK to India post-Brexit,” Modi said.

India is set to overtake Britain and France to become the world’s fifth largest economy by the yearend.

May, who is laying her bets on the strategic importance of this partnership, said, “Our trade partnership with India is showing how we can remove barriers to increase trade between our two countries.”

Conscious of the strategic importance of improving trade links with India, a joint statement issued after the meeting between Modi and May also referred to India’s important role within the Indo-Pacific region.

Modi held a series of fruitful bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the CHOGM on April 19.

He held discussions with his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina and Seychelles President Danny Faure.

“Neighbourhood first! Connecting with a neighbour and a close friend, PM Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina had a productive exchange of views on various issues of bilateral interest on the sidelines of CHOGM 2018,” ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

However, there was no interaction between Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

While Modi is the toast of the summit, the Prime Minister was greeted by angry protesters in London.

But as Modi was meeting May, protesters holding placards with slogans such as “Modi go home” and “We stand against Modi’s agenda of hate and greed” gathered outside Downing Street and at Parliament Square.

The demonstrators inclu­ded Muslims and Sikhs, who called for end to religious persecution, and human rights activists, who called for end to violence against women, Dawn reported.

In a crime that shocked India, an eight-year-old Mus­lim girl in Jammu and Kash­mir was kidnapped, drugged and held for several days while she was raped repeatedly and then murdered.

In the other case, a state lawmaker from Modi’s Bha­ratiya Janata Party stands accused of raping a teenager in Uttar Pradesh. No action was taken against the politician until the girl threatened to set herself on fire earlier this month. Her father died soon afterwards from injuries he sustained while in police custody.

Modi addressed outrage over the rapes during an interaction with the Indian diaspora in London and promised justice for the victims.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Lamat R Hasan
About the Author: Lamat is an Associate Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy, Economics

NK’s new weapons development a message to Seoul, US

Pyongyang also asks that Pompeo be removed from future negotiations. North Korea on Thursday reported the development of a new tactical weapons system, adding uncertainty to the situation surrounding the Korean Peninsula. According to the North’s Korean Central News Agency, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attended the testing of a newly developed guided tactical weapons system on Wednesday, and applauded the development as having a “very big significance” in strengthening the country’s military capabilities. The KCNA also quoted Kim as saying that “active progress in our own weapons systems is a very good development,” and claimed Wedn


By The Korea Herald
April 19, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

Moon may face tough task as mediator in denuclearization talks

By Choi He-suk. President Moon Jae-in has called for another inter-Korean meeting in his ongoing efforts to be a mediator in denuclearization talks between North Korea and the US, but the task may have become tougher, according to experts. Unlike previous occasions where Seoul mediated US-North Korea talks, Seoul now faces a situation where summit talks between the two countries have failed to produce an agreement and there are signs of North Korea deviating from its denuclearization pledge. Satellite imagery released by the Center for Strategic and International Studies indicates the movement of radioactive material at Yongbyon, North Korea’s main nuclear site. The imagery, from April 12, shows five specialized railcars near the uranium enrichment facility and the radiochemistry laboratory — which, according to CSIS, are associated with the movement of radioactive materials or reprocessing camp


By The Korea Herald
April 18, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

IMF to visit Pakistan in April

IMF says its mission will visit Pakistan ‘before end of April to continue constructive discussions’. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday said that it held “constructive discussions” with Pakistani authorities during last week’s spring meetings in Washington and that its mission will be visiting Pakistan “before the end of April to continue the discussions” on a bailout package. The announcement was made by the Office of the Resident Representative of the IMF in a press release following reports that the IMF mission’s visit of Pakistan for finalising the package may be delayed as both sides are still engaged in an intense discussion. “The Pakistani authorities and IMF staff held constructi


By Dawn
April 16, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

Moon calls for 4th inter-Korean summit

The summit will prepare both sides for a possible third Trump-Kim summit. President Moon Jae-in on Monday called for another inter-Korean summit, saying that Pyongyang and Washington have expressed willingness to continue dialogue and that Seoul needs to lay the foundation for bigger results. “The Korean Peninsula peace process has entered the phase of building on the North-US Hanoi summit to prepare for practical results for the next stage,” Moon said at a weekly meeting with senior aides. “Now is the time to prepare and push for an inter-Korean summit,” Moon said, adding that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has shown his “will to conti


By The Korea Herald
April 16, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

Malaysia avoids termination fee by renegotiating rail deal

The Chinese-Malaysian venture will go ahead. The government decided to go back to the negotiation table on the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project because its termination would cost RM21.78bil with “nothing to show for it”, says Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Dr Mahathir said in renegotiating the project, the government called for a more equitable deal, where the needs of Malaysians would be prioritised. He explained that the Pakatan Harapan government’s main objection to the ECRL project was based on the way and speed at which the original contract was negotiated and signed in 2016. “It was unjustified, a hefty lump sum price which lacked clarity in terms of technical specifications, price, and, by extension, economic justification.


By The Star
April 16, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

China, Japan agree to bolster relations

The historical foes look to bolster relations amid global economic uncertainty. China and Japan reached consensus on Sunday on strengthening ties during a high-level economic dialogue covering issues ranging from trade and investment cooperation to regional economic integration and global economic governance. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono co-chaired the high-level meeting in Beijing on Sunday. The dialogue, the first one held in China since 2010, also came amid a weakening global growth outlook as the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday that global growth is projected to decline further to 3.3 percent this year, down from the 3.5 percent it estimated in January. Wang said in the opening remarks that positive new signs are emerging in bilateral cooperation including in economic areas, which conform to the fundamental interests of the t


By China Daily
April 16, 2019