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Jaishankar to meet British counterpart Dominic Raab in Bangkok

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 31, 2019 Published on July 31, 2019

Union External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar (file photo).

Immigration policy review in the UK to focus on attracting the best and the brightest, says High Commissioner to India

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will meet in Bangkok on August 1 where they are expected to discuss “geopolitical, global and bilateral’’ issues.

Confirming that the two will meet in Bangkok, British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith said that it was not possible to second-guess what Jaishankar and Raab would discuss but they would certainly broadly talk about geopolitical, global and bilateral matters.

Talking to the media on Wednesday, the High Commissioner said the UK government under Prime Minister Boris Johnson was working on reviewing the country’s immigration policy so that it is based on merit. “The PM has made it clear that he is a profound supporter of making sure we do attract the best and the brightest,” Asquith said.

Jaishankar is in Bangkok to attend a number of meetings including the ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting, the 9th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers' Meeting, the 26th ASEAN Regional Forum and the 10th Mekong Ganga Cooperation Ministerial Meeting.

Johnson, a hardline supporter of Brexit who has promised to lead Britain out of the European Union with or without a deal by October 31, replaced Theresa May as Prime Minister earlier this month.

On the meeting of the India-UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee in the UK this month, the High Commissioner said that India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and his British counterpart Liam Fox talked about getting the ground work done for a possible free trade agreement (FTA) in the future. “The possibility of an FTA between India and the UK will ofcourse depending on the outcome of Brexit,” he added.

Specifying steps being taken to strengthen the education partnership between the two countries, Asquith said that 20 Vice-Chancellors from UK universities will visit Delhi and Hyderabad in the first week of September. ‘Study in India’, a new bilateral programme launched this month will support UK universities to collaborate with Indian partners to send UK students to India as part of their studies.

The number of Indian students studying in the UK has almost doubled in the last three years with over 21,000 visas issued to Indians for the year ended March 2019, the High Commissioner said.

The High Commissioner also elaborated on UK’s joint action with India on climate change and clean growth. An Indian delegation including representatives from NITI Aayog, Ministry of Power and State governments visited the UK in June. “In July, representatives from the UK government and private sector organisations visited India. During the visit, EO Charging announced that they will make and install their cutting ede smart charge-points in Pune. They signed up five dealerships in the first week,” he said.

The UK and India will co-launch a new Global Coalition for Disaster Risilient Infrastructure at UNGA in September, the High Commissioner added.

Published on July 31, 2019
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