Thursday, August 18, 2022

Rishi Sunak desires exchange of talented persons between UK, India

The Chancellor saw enormous opportunity for both countries in fintech. He welcomed the Diwali timeframe for an FTA draft to be ready

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The financial services sector could be an “exciting” prospect for a closer exchange between India and the UK with a free trade agreement (FTA) being negotiated between the two countries, according to Indian-origin British Chancellor Rishi Sunak (he is the son-in-law of Infosys cofounder Narayana Murthy). Sunak was speaking with reporters ahead of the India Global Forum’s UK-India Awards celebrating the Indian diaspora success within the UK-India corridor. The Chancellor saw enormous opportunity for both countries in fintech. He welcomed the Diwali timeframe for an FTA draft to be ready.

“There’s good progress being made and I think one of the exciting things for me in my role is financial services,” he told PTI. “Financial service is an area where there’s an enormous opportunity for both of our countries. India’s goal is to spread insurance across the entire economy because insurance is a great thing for enabling protection for individuals and growth. We can help with that in the UK because we have a fantastic insurance industry. And bit by bit we’ve been able to provide more of those products, services and expertise to Indian firms and citizens and companies,” he said.

He also spoke about India’s plans for a Sovereign Green Bond and since the UK had gone through that journey, it would want to help India raise that capital. “It builds on a tradition of us helping provide capital to India from across the world because one of the defining movements of capital of our time will be the flow of capital from the west into fast growing India. That’s an incredibly exciting and significant event. And the UK can really help be the place which allows India the access to the biggest pool of capital on the best possible terms to drive its growth,” he said.

“…that visa applies to people at the university. So, it will benefit Indian nationals… it’s an incredibly generous and powerful visa which will benefit Indian citizens who are studying at any of these [global] universities.”

— Rishi Sunak

In the interaction with the Indian Journalists’ Association (IJA), the senior Cabinet minister highlighted the important role played by the Indian diaspora in strengthening a “partnership of equals’ between the two countries. “The UK doesn’t have a monopoly on opportunity. There’s an enormous amount of opportunity in India, we also want to make sure that if this living bridge is going to be a real thing, we have got to make it easier for people in the UK to go to India, to study at world-class institutions to go work in all these amazing start-ups,” he said.

Sunak also spoke about reforms in the visa system to make it easier for talented Indians to come to the UK and said there were several categories now open to talented Indians, including the new High Potential Individual visa. “Our plan over time is to expand what we consider to be markers of high potential individuals. So that the qualifying criteria for that visa will expand over time. But that visa applies to people at the university. So, it will benefit Indian nationals… it’s an incredibly generous and powerful visa which will benefit Indian citizens who are studying at any of these [global] universities,” he said.

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Tirthankar Ghosh
Tirthankar Ghosh is a senior journalist and presently Managing Editor, Newsline Publications. He has also been writing for well over 15 years for the New York-based Air Cargo News Flying Typers.

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