UK’s visa policy may negatively impact Indians: PM to May

From K J M Varma Hangzhou, Sep 5 (PTI) Britain’s new visa policy could havea "negative impact" on Indian working professionals’ shortterm business visits to the UK, Prime Minister Narendra Moditoday told his British counterpart Theresa May during theirfirst meeting after she became Premier. Meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, the two PrimeMinisters also discussed further enhancement of bilateraldefence partnership, External Affairs Ministry SpokespersonVikas Swarup said. "Prime Minister also touched on UK’s visa policy. Inparticular, he said that the new UK regulations could havenegative impact on Indian working professionals wishing tovisit UK for short term business visits," Swarup said. The Prime Minister invited British firms to ‘Make inIndia’ as both leaders also looked forward to an early visitby Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to the UK, he said. During the meeting, Modi also spoke about challenges ofterrorism, which he said is the "biggest threat to the worldand knows no boundaries". He alluded to May’s previous stint as Home Secretary andsaid she was well aware of the dangers of terrorism, Swarupsaid. In this context, the two leaders discussed counterterrorism cooperation. Modi said that the recent meeting of the India-UK jointgroup on counter terrorism was very useful and called forgreater collaboration in cyber security and intelligencesharing besides information gathering. May said she was very keen to support Modi’s vision forIndia and the broader strategic partnership including thedecisions taken during his successful visit to Britain lastNovember. She also underlined the importance Britain attaches to theIndian diaspora. This was their first face-to-face meeting between the twoleaders after May took over as the Prime Minister followingthe resignation of David Cameron after Britain’s exit from theEuropean Union. The fact that she had deputed three Ministers to India –Preeti Patel, Alok Sharma, and Greg Clarke showed the priorityshe attached to India, Swarup said. "The Prime Minister underlined that even after the Brexit,the UK remained as important to India as before," he said. Modi also sought the British Prime Minister’s suggestionson further strengthening the partnership particularly tradeand investment ties. In this context, he referred to the recent launch of theHSBC Corporate Rupee bond on the London Stock Exchange whichhas been very successful. India, Modi said, also needed moreUK participation in ‘Make in India’. The Prime Minister also referred to passage of GST bill,which he said would further boost trade and investment tieswith UK, Swarup said Modi also invited May to visit India in her new capacity.May accepted the invitation and said she would like to make asearly a visit to India as possible. PTI KJV ASK AKJASK

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