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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

According to Rishi Sunak, the UK is delivering on its new FTA with India

UK delivering on new FTA with India, says Rishi Sunak

 LONDON:As part of the country's larger focus on enhancing ties with the Indo-Pacific region, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has reiterated the UK's commitment to a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India.

The British-Indian leader reflected on his heritage and pledged to promote British values of "freedom and openness" worldwide in his talk Monday night at the Lord Mayor of London's Banquet, his first major speech on foreign policy since taking over at 10 Downing Street last month.

In addition, he stated that China poses a "systemic challenge" to British values and interests and promised to "do things differently" regarding the issue.

"Before I entered politics, I invested in global businesses.Additionally, the Indo-Pacific opportunity is compelling," Sunak stated.

"Compared to Europe and North America as a whole, only a quarter of global growth will come from the Indo-Pacific region by 2050.As a result, we are implementing a new free trade agreement (FTA) with India and pursuing one with Indonesia as well as joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

"My grandparents, like many others, came to the UK from East Africa and the Indian subcontinent and settled here.We have received thousands of visitors from Hong Kong, Afghanistan, and Ukraine in recent years.He added, "We are a nation that defends democracy through actions rather than words and stands up for our values."

As he distanced his government from a slogan used by the previous Conservative Party-led government to describe bilateral relations between the UK and China just over seven years ago, Sunak stated that he wants to "evolve" the UK's approach toward China.

"Let's be clear: the so-called "golden era" and the naive belief that trade would bring about social and political change are over.However, we shouldn't rely on Cold War rhetoric either.We are aware that China poses a systemic threat to our interests and values, a threat that gets worse as it becomes more authoritarian, he warned.

The 42-year-old former chancellor acknowledged that the United Kingdom cannot simply ignore China's "significance" in international affairs, as do other major economies like the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan.

"So, together, we'll deal with this growing competition, using diplomacy and engagement, among other tactics.Sunak stated, "Much of this is about dramatically increasing our resilience, especially our economic security."

Sunak reiterated his pro-Brexit viewpoint and said that cooperating on shared issues like illegal migration would be preferable to any alignment with EU law.He also said that as part of Europe's "collective resolve" to protect democratic values, the UK would support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.

"Russia is challenging the UN Charter's fundamental principles after years of pushing the boundaries.Using all of its state power tools, China is consciously competing for influence on the global stage.Wishful thinking and short-termism will not suffice in the face of these obstacles.We can't rely on arguments or strategies from the Cold War or just being nostalgic about the past.Therefore, we will advance our strategy evolutionaryally," he declared.

Sunak confirmed that an updated "Integrated Review" that will be released in the new year will provide additional information regarding the UK's outlook for foreign policy and include a discussion of expanding UK collaboration with the Commonwealth.

We won't settle for the status quo under my leadership,We'll act in a different way.We will develop, guided by our unwavering belief in openness, freedom, and the rule of law, and he concluded, "I am confident that in this time of challenge and competition, our interests will be protected... and our values will prevail."

Every year, the UK prime minister addresses business leaders, international dignitaries, and foreign policy experts at the Lord Mayor's Banquet, which is held at Guildhall in the financial district of London.

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