Trade & investment to take centre stage in Piyush Goyal’s meeting with UK trade minister: British envoy | India News

NEW DELHI: The UK is “clear-sighted” about the challenges China poses to the world, said Philip Barton, British high commissioner on Thursday.
“On LAC, the progress that we have seen in managing tensions and engagements between special representatives to deescalate tensions is welcome. We hope there can be de-escalation of tensions after the tragic loss of lives of Indian personnel” he said.
On Friday, Indian and British trade ministers, Piyush Goyal and Liz Truss will meet for trade and investment talks. Barton said, “They will be discussing the future of our trade and investment relationship, and how we can be more ambitious, how we can build up our partnership and improve market access. The UK has now left the European Union – with certainty around that – and has an independent trade policy. That provides a real opportunity for us to enter into a new, different, and deeper trade and investment relationship with other countries.”
Questioned about the extradition of Vijay Mallya, the British envoy said there was no “timeline” on the extradition because the legal process was still underway. The UK “is absolutely clear in its roles in preventing people avoiding justice by moving from countries. We are careful to ensure criminals can’t cross borders to escape justice.”
Barton said, “We want to work with China and there are very many issues like climate change, where, without China, moving forward is not possible. We do not have borders with China but we do have an interest in Hong Kong. We also have grave concerns about human rights violations of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.” The UK government recently barred Huawei from its 5G initiative.
But in the wake of the pandemic, trade and investment are taking centre stage in the bilateral relationship. “Overall trade between the two countries increased by nearly 10% last year to £24 billion.”
The UK, he said, is the second largest G-20 investor in India, while India was the second largest investor in the UK.
From 2021, international students would be allowed to stay in the UK for two (undergraduate and masters) to three years (PhD) after completing studies. The UK, he said, has also introduced a new fast-track visa scheme for highly-skilled scientists and researchers.

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