PM Modi met the British PM Theresa May for the first time after the Indian economy overtook the British in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The summit saw many meetings of PM Modi with the world leaders including China’s Xi Jinping, America’s Donald Trump, and Japan’s Shinzo Abe but as experts say the Modi-Theresa meet was the most important one being its economic significance for both the countries.
India and Britain account for $14,338 trade annually. Britain is the biggest investor in India after the United States and Japan while it also is the eighteenth largest trade partner of India. India exports worth $8828 of goods and services to Britain while we import $5192 G&S from them. India is also a big investor in the UK where the TATA group itself employs more than 55,000 people which the British economists called the symbol of “reverse colonization” as it is very much congruent to the East India Company of the 19th Century.
Britain last year decided not to be a part of the European Union and that was when Theresa May took over in place of David Cameroon as the Prime Minister. Well, they did get rid of the European Union but it seems like they are getting rid of their wealth too. The post Brexit era has witnessed a drastic fall of the British pound in the international market. The Indian Rupee has also grown stronger against Pound in the past one year. Although pulling out of the EU has also opened infinite opportunities for Britain in terms of investments and flow of goods and services especially with fast growing major economies like India. Soon after the Brexit, PM May along with a huge delegation visited New Delhi in November and had talks with PM Modi to increase the trade between both the nations.
May’s effort to “catapult” the trade between both the nations halted when the British Government decided to restrict the conditions for granting visas to Indian nationals. The Indian Ambassador to UK Yashwardhan Kumar Sinha clearly pointed out that trade involves not only the free flow of goods, investments and services but also employees, students and tourists. The worried British government tried to deliberate but ended up with nothing in their hands.
India has been growing at an exceptional rate of 8 percent which was shot down to 6 percent in the previous quarter primarily due to demonetization. India lost the “fastest growing major economy” crown which it had for the past two years but analyst including the World Bank has predicted that it will soon regain it. India took over Britain to become the world’s six largest economies in terms of GDP nominal while it already is an economy thrice the size of UK as per GDP PPP. Moreover, India boasts of an independent space agency which is having back to back successes, giving Britain an “inferiority complex” as they do not have any.
The meeting of both the leaders in the G20 was also motivated to counter economic offenders like Vijay Mallya who has been sipping tea in Britain for the past one and a half year after fleeing India. The meet was not as vigorous as it was in November because of the busy schedule of both the PMs.
India-Britain relations hopes to see a steady growth in the future years. Britain has been trying to have India on their side after getting out of the EU. Research conducted shows that most Britons hold a positive view of India and vice-versa. Although citizens of the UK have given up on May’s party as in the UK general elections, the Conservative party saw a fall in the number of their seats. So it is also necessary for Theresa May to give up her “obstructionist” approach regarding the visas to Indian nationals as it can hamper her vision of getting the UK out of the current economic crisis.