New Delhi, Jan 22: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Monday said that Britain and India shares “a strategic partnership of equals."
“We support India"s candidature for the permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)," Brown said while addressing a joint press conference here with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh. “The trade (bilateral) has increased to 100 per cent in the last five years and it is increasing at a rate 20 per cent per year," Brown added.
Talking about counter terrorism Indo-Britain joint efforts, the British Prime Minister said: “The cooperation between Indian and British intelligence agencies should be strengthened."
Manmohan Singh told reporters that the international community can not ignore a country like India," adding, “Both the countries (India and Britain) have agreed for joint efforts to counter terrorism."
“This summit (Indo-UK fourth summit) has given a fresh momentum to our strategic partnership. India and Britain have also agreed over nuclear cooperation," Manmohan Singh added.
“Both sides underline the importance of joint international efforts in countering terrorism which is not justified under any circumstances. They agree to intensify mutual exchange of views, experiences and practical cooperation in the fight against terrorism, both through bilateral channels and in multilateral forums," the joint statement issued after India-UK Summit said.
The statement further said that both countries “shall strengthen cooperation through the Indo-UK Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism. Multilaterally, the two countries remain committed to pursuing as soon as possible agreement in the UN on the Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism"
The UK reiterated its support for India"s “full membership of the Financial Action Task Force."
On climate change, both sides recognised “the need to find effective and practical solutions to address concerns regarding climate change and its implications for human kind."
Both countries have expressed their satisfaction “over the successful outcome at Bali that reaffirmed the relevance of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including its provision and principles, in particular the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities."
In the field of bilateral cooperation on climate change, the two Sides expressed satisfaction over the announcement of a UK-India Agreement on the second phase of UK-India Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Study.
India and the UK will also collaborate on “a project piloting implementation of programmatic clean development mechanism (CDM) in India this year to jointly explore the potential of this to facilitate up-scaling of carbon market investment in accordance with India"s future development priorities."
The two countries also recognised the importance of research and development collaboration on “low carbon energy technologies and welcomed the broadening dialogue between the two countries on clean coal technologies and other power generation technologies."
The two sides have strongly “emphasised the potential of civil nuclear energy to be a safe, sustainable and non-polluting source of energy, which could make a significant contribution to meeting the global challenge of achieving energy security, sustainable development, economic growth, and limiting climate change."
“The UK supports the India-US civil nuclear co-operation initiative with all its elements, including an appropriate India specific exemption to the Nuclear Suppliers Group Guidelines," the statement said.
Prime Ministers of both countries have shared the “hope that Pakistan would see an early return to stability and prosperity and recognised the importance of free and fair Parliamentary elections on February 18."
They also agreed that the process of national reconciliation and political reform in Myanmar should be “inclusive, broad-based and taken forward expeditiously, so as to bring about genuine reconciliation and progress towards democracy."
“The two Sides underscored their commitment to the Strategic Partnership launched in 2004 and reaffirmed their shared conviction in the values of democracy, fundamental freedoms, pluralism, rule of law, respect for human rights and multilateralism in the international political and financial architecture as the means to tackle global challenges effectively," the joint statement issued after India-UK Summit said.
On economic and commercial front, the statement said: “Bilateral economic linkages are strengthening through increased trade and investment flows. The two Sides acknowledged the potential for greater collaboration especially in hi-tech (ICT, life sciences, nano-technology etc.), research, advanced manufacturing, infrastructure, energy, healthcare, agricultural products and processed foods, higher education and other service sectors."
This meeting reviewed various aspects of bilateral trade and received valuable feedback from businesses on both sides on measures that could further enhance bilateral trade and investment flows.
“India and the UK have agreed to cooperate in developing collaboration between Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.of professionals across a broad range of sectors of interest to both sides," the statement said.
Both sides took note of the large opportunities in the infrastructure sector, in the context of the massive infrastructure development programme being undertaken in India.
Both countries also noted the role played by people of Indian origin in Britain. Through their hard work, dynamism and entrepreneurial talents they have made an enormous contribution to the strengthening of bilateral ties.
On education, the two sides recognised that the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI), launched in April 2006, was playing an important role in fostering such contacts.
Both sides have agreed to establish an Education Forum to work towards an early conclusion of an Education Partnership Agreement; to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding on an India-UK Higher Education Leadership Development Programme to develop leadership skills in Indian and UK universities.
India and the UK see considerable potential for growth in Research, Science and Technology collaboration. They share the vision for further strengthening their partnership through new and existing initiatives and agree to widen discussion to all research funding bodies in both countries through the India-UK Science and Innovation Council mechanism. The UK"s proposal to establish a Research Councils UK (RCUK) office in India is a welcome development that would lead to enhance collaboration between the two countries.