UK opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer has expressed the need to expand the India-UK relationship in various crucial domains in his foreign policy pitch leading up to the anticipated general election next year.
Starmer emphasised the immense potential for mutual benefits that can be derived from enhancing bilateral ties.
According to a statement, he is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the upcoming India Global Forum’s (IGF) annual UK-India Week summit in London.
This address will provide significant insights into Starmer’s vision for the Labour Party’s relationship with India, which underwent some strain on sensitive issues like Kashmir during the tenure of his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn.
“The time has now come to look to the future and work on how we can deepen and widen our cooperation in critical areas such as trade and investment, technology and innovation, climate action, diversity and inclusion, and healthcare, the future of work, skills and education – all areas where I see huge scope for mutual benefit,” said Starmer.
“I am looking forward to speaking at India Global Forum. The Labour Party has a long and strong relationship with India which I am very proud of,” he said.
The fifth edition of the IGF UK-India Week, scheduled to take place from June 26 to 30, will consist of a series of events spanning five days.
The purpose of the week-long event is to bring together influential figures including senior politicians, business leaders, and thought leaders from the UK, India, and around the world. The focus will be on exploring opportunities to strengthen India-UK ties across various sectors.
“I believe it’s timely that Sir Keir will be opening UK-India Week this year. We are at a critical juncture, and so his participation underscores the importance of the need for a bipartisan approach to the relationship with India,” said IGF Founder and CEO Professor Manoj Ladwa.
“Given the ups and downs in Labour’s ties with India in recent years, I am sure his intervention at India Global Forum will be eagerly awaited, and in my view, much needed,” he said.
The theme of the UK-India Week 2023 is “Leading with Purpose.” This week-long event will encompass a wide array of topics, including infrastructure, sustainable finance, technology, innovation, and more. The week’s activities will culminate with the prestigious UK-India Awards.