“We, the Finance
Ministers of the UK and India, met here today in Delhi for the 9th round
of Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD). At today’s meeting, we
discussed how, notwithstanding the UK’s triggering of Article 50, India
and the UK can work together to: strengthen our existing economic
partnership in order to further boost trade and investment and; build on
the bold vision for the India-UK Strategic Partnership set out by our
Prime Ministers during Prime Minister May’s November 2016 visit to
Global economy and policy responses
We welcome the strength of the economic outlook for both countries.
Whilst economic confidence has increased and global growth is forecast
to rise in 2017, we recognise that political risk and policy uncertainty
in some parts of the world remain heightened and share concerns around
policy space to respond to future shocks. The UK and India agree that
globalisation has had positive impact on the world, and remain strong
advocates for free markets and free trade. We agree that international
cooperation is vital to make the global economy work for everyone and
address shared global challenges. Both sides commit to work together to
strengthen our co-operation in the G20, IMF, World Bank and other
multilateral bodies to that end.
The UK and India share a common commitment to addressing cross-border
tax evasion and avoidance and agree to collaborate in determining the
status of wealth deposited in foreign financial accounts by nationals of
both countries. We look forward to enhanced cooperation in this area.
The two sides encourage timely implementation of the G20/OECD Base
Erosion and Profit Shifting Project outputs and call on other countries
to meet their commitments. The UK and India have committed to the Common
Reporting Standards on Automatic Exchange of Tax Information and will
begin to exchange information in 2017.
We also support work to strengthen the Global Financial Safety Net, with
a strong, quota-based and adequately resourced IMF at its centre. We
urge all members to work towards the IMF completing the 15th General
Review of Quotas by Spring or no later than the Annual Meetings of 2019.
We will also work with the World Bank to ensure progress of commitments
under the Forward Look as per the roadmap agreed at the 2015 Annual
Meetings. We recognise the importance of international cooperation on
financial stability, and remain committed to supporting the
implementation of agreed reforms under the auspices of the Financial
Stability Board and Basel Committee of Banking Supervision. We also look
forward to finalising the remaining elements of the regulatory
India and the UK reiterate their concern at the threat posed by
antimicrobial resistance and underline the need to explore
evidence-based ways to mitigate resistance. Both sides agreed to work
together to ensure effective implementation of FATF’s anti-money
laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards globally.
India and the UK have agreed to continue sharing economic knowledge and
expertise, including through the India-UK Economic Policy and Prosperity
Partnership (EPPP). Under this Partnership Programme, both countries
welcomed the success of the first annual Exchange Programme between
officials from the Indian Economic Service and UK Government Economic
Service. They committed to developing EPPP so that it further deepens
institutional ties and helps to improve economic policymaking in both
countries. It is proposed to co-host an economic conference in India
this year, which will provide a forum for exchanging ideas and taking
forward shared priorities.
The UK and India also welcomed the selection of the first Chevening
Standard Chartered Financial Services Fellows - eight top Indian
financial services leaders of the future - who will attend an eight week
intensive course in financial services in London in the spring; and the
inauguration of the IMF’s South Asia Regional Training and Technical
Assistance Centre (SARTTAC) in February 2017. India and the UK are both
founder members of this centre. This centre will further strengthen
macroeconomic and financial capacity.
Trade and investment
The trade and investment relationship between India and the UK is
flourishing and continues to expand and deepen. We reaffirmed our Prime
Ministers’ commitment to building the ‘Closest possible commercial and
We reviewed progress made since Prime Minister May’s visit to India in
November 2016. In particular, we noted the success of the Joint Working
Group on trade, which held its second meeting between senior officials
in March 2017. Both sides were encouraged by the work of the Joint Trade
Review, which seeks to identify steps to strengthen our trade
relationship, now and as the UK leaves the EU.
Investment is a particularly important part of this economic and
commercial partnership. The UK and India reaffirmed non-discriminatory
treatment of foreign investors and committed to ensure an environment in
which investors can continue to invest with confidence. The UK and India
agreed to work together swiftly to encourage sustainable bilateral
investment that benefits both countries, including through the Joint
Both sides welcomed the recent launch of a Fast Track investment
promotion mechanism, which provides a single window to help UK companies
when establishing and expanding their business in India.
Improving the business environment
We are committing to taking forward measures to improve the regulatory
environment in India, following the signing of a Memorandum of
Understanding in November 2016. Reforms in India, including the GST and
Insolvency legislation, are significant steps towards improved business
conditions in India. Both sides welcomed UK's support to India in
implementing these reforms, drawing upon the UK's experience to share
knowledge, best practices and build capacity in areas including
regulation, Insolvency and tax administration.
The UK and India recognise the social and economic benefits of a
dynamic, vibrant and balanced national Intellectual Property regime
including as a driver for growth. Both countries exchanged a Memorandum
of Understanding to commence bilateral cooperation in November 2016 and
look forward to now agreeing to a work plan setting out a range of
bilateral activities aimed at improving administration, outreach, use
and enforcement of IP.
Financial services relationship
Both governments welcomed the impressive progress by the India-UK
Financial Partnership (IUKFP), under its co-chairs Mr Uday Kotak and Sir
Gerry Grimstone, since its establishment as part of the 2014 Economic
and Financial Dialogue. The two Finance Ministers recognised the success
of this government initiated and private-sector led partnership in
deepening links between our countries and generating commercial
opportunities for both sides. Both sides welcomed the publication of
further reports on financial inclusion, responsible shareholder
engagement, rupee internationalisation and green finance. The Finance
Ministers also agreed to renew the IUKFP’s mandate and looked forward to
future papers on bank restructuring, fintech, disinvestment, India-UK
trade and investment relationship – recommendations from financial and
professional services – and ease of doing business in financial and
Recognising the crucial role of insurance and reinsurance to manag
e complex risks in the economic system, the UK and India welcomed the
opening of Lloyd’s of London’s first Indian branch to underwrite
re-insurance business. Both sides also agreed to work to boost
cooperation and collaboration between the regulatory authorities and
industries in both countries to foster sharing of best practices.
Both sides recognised the importance of developing strong pension
systems, agreeing that India and UK can share experiences in this area.
Financing India’s growth
Both sides recognised London’s position as the world’s leading financial
centre and the crucial role its markets will continue to play in raising
capital for investment in India. We applauded the successful issuances
by HDFC (INR 3,000 crore or £366 million) and NTPC (INR 2,000 crore or
£244 million), the first ever masala bonds to be issued by Indian
entities. Both sides also welcomed the issuance in London by the
Canadian province British Columbia, the first foreign sub-national
entity to issue rupee-denominated bonds.
The two Finance Ministers welcomed that the proposal of National
Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to issue a Masala Bond in London in
next few months. They also welcomed IREDA’s plans to issue a green bond
in London and list their masala bonds on the London Stock Exchange
within six months. They also looked forward to other Indian entities,
including Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) and Indian Railway
Finance Corporation(IRFC) preparing to issue Masala Bonds in London in
the coming months.
Given the increasingly important role the rupee will play in the global
economy in years to come, we also welcomed the City of London
Corporation’s establishment of a Rupee Initiative to bring together
market experts and leverage the UK’s position as the world’s number one
foreign exchange centre to further develop this market.
The two Finance Ministers were pleased with the strong progress being
made to establish the joint India-UK fund under the National Investment
and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). Technical Assistance from the UK has
played an important role in the initial phase of the NIIF and in
establishing its readiness to raise and manage funds. The joint UK-India
fund aims to leverage private sector investment from the City of London
to finance Indian infrastructure projects. Both governments reaffirmed
their commitment to anchor invest up to £120 million each in the joint
fund which aims to raise around £500 million, and has the potential to
unlock much more in future. The two Finance Ministers announced that the
fund will focus initial investments on India’s rapidly growing energy
and renewables market and that a fund manager is expected to be selected
by the Autumn. Progress will be accelerated by starting the process of
appointing a fund manager now with early market engagement via the
publication of a blueprint, with the aim to identify additional and
complementary sectors for fund investments.
The UK and India recognised the importance of combating climate change,
supporting the mobilisation of finance from a variety of sources,
instruments and channels to mitigate its effects alongside generating
economic opportunities. We welcome the work of the G20 Green Finance
Study Group promoting green finance and encouraging the issuance of
green bonds, among other forms of green finance, to aid this objective.
The UK welcomed India’s efforts to promote green finance, including the
steps taken by the Securities and Exchange Board of India by issuing a
concept paper on issuance of Green Bonds and the issuance of the first
ever green masala bond by an Indian entity, NTPC. As such we agreed to
set up a Forum to share experiences and best practices, with
representation from the RBI, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Power,
Ministry of Renewable Energy, SEBI, Bank of England and HM Treasury,
with a view to extending membership in due course.
The Ministerial India-UK Energy for Growth Dialogue on April 7th, 2017
will identify further opportunities for the UK to engage in the India's
highly successful green finance sector.
Developments in FinTech
The UK and India highlighted the vital role of technology in improving
the provision of accessible, secure, high-quality financial services. In
an era of unprecedented technological change, FinTech can improve
outcomes for consumers, increase financial inclusion, and monitor and
stem flows of black money. Both sides recognised the important role that
FinTech will play in supporting both Digital India and Make in India,
particularly following India’s move towards a less cash society.
Both sides agreed to deepen bilateral collaboration on FinTech and
explore the possibility of a regulatory cooperation agreement between
the FCA and the RBI in the second quarter of 2017, which will enable the
regulators to share information about financial services innovations in
their respective markets, including emerging trends and regulatory
issues. The feasibility of a UK-India FinTech Bridge would also be
Both sides welcomed the FinTech delegation joining the Chancellor in
India and highlighted the major India-UK Fintech Conference due to take
place in Mumbai on 5 April,2017.
The UK and India look forward to the next dialogue in London in 2018.