India and the UK on Thursday announced deals worth 9-billion pound as they signed a civil nuclear pact and decided to collaborate in the field of defence and cyber security besides launching a railway rupee bond. British Prime Minister David Cameron described the relations between the two sides as a "new dynamic modern partnership" and reiterated his country's support for India's permanent membership of the UN Security Council.
"During this visit British and Indian companies are announcing new collaborations together worth 9 billion pounds," he said at a joint press conference with Modi here. "We want to become the number one partners to finance the immense economic vision Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi and make London the centre for off-shore rupee trading with the launch of 1-billion worth of bonds including the first government-backed rupee denominated bond," Cameron added.
Modi highlighted plans for India to use London as a financial base for fundraising. "We are going to use the London market for fundraising even more and I am happy to announced that we are set to launch a railway rupee bond in London. It is appropriate as the journey of Indian Railways started in the UK," Modi said. Modi, who flew into the British capital on his much- anticipated three-day visit, was accorded a guard of honour by the 48-member F Company Scots guard accompanied by the regimental band of Irish guards.
Cameron came out from his 10 Downing Street to receive Modi before the two leaders headed to the world's most famous political office for a nearly 90-minute dialogue. Other senior ministers present include foreign secretary Philip Hammond, employment minister Priti Patel and business minister Sajid Javid.
On the Indian side, the delegation included the High Commissioner to the UK Ranjan Mathai, foreign secretary S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. The UK ranks 18th in the list of India's top 25 trading partners and two-way trade in 2014-15 stood at USD 14.34 billion. The UK is the third largest inward investor in India, after Mauritius and Singapore, with a cumulative equity investment of USD 22.26 billion between 2000-2015. Modi's talks with Cameron will carry on at the British Prime Minister's country residence of Chequers in Buckinghamshire, where he is being hosted overnight.