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UK Foreign Secretary in India, to launch scheme for young professionals

Ahead of attending the G20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting, the UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will be meeting his counterpart External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Wednesday as they are expected to discuss progress on the UK-India 2030 Roadmap that aims to bolster the two countries’ ties in defence and security, trade and investment.

He’s visiting India to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting here and to mark a new scheme allowing young Brits and Indians to live and work in each other’s countries for up to two years, which was announced by the Home Secretary earlier this week.

During a visit to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Delhi on Wednesday, the Foreign Secretary will mark the opening of the Young Professionals Scheme, an ambitious new partnership between the UK and India which allows up 3,000 Brits and 3,000 Indians a year the right to live and work in the other country for up to two years, the British High Commission said.

The Foreign Secretary will also announce the creation of the UK’s first Tech Envoy to the Indo-Pacific region, who will boost ties with India as a priority. This envoy is the second of its kind to be announced by the UK (after the appointment of a Tech Envoy to the US in late 2020) and demonstrates its commitment to the region and tech-diplomacy.

The new Tech Envoy role will boost the UK’s status as a science and tech superpower. The envoy will work with partners in the region on areas of shared interest, including setting global technology standards and helping to solve challenges through innovative technology.

Foreign Secretary Cleverly said: “India is a hugely important partner to the UK and the deeper ties we are forging now will help to grow the UK economy and boost our industries for the future. This landmark migration scheme will enable the brightest and best in both our countries to benefit from new opportunities.

“India is also an emerging global leader on technology and there are immense opportunities for better collaboration between us in this sector. That is why we will be sending our first Tech Envoy to the Indo-Pacific region, to maximise the tech expertise of both countries.”

India has the world’s third highest number of tech unicorns and startups, with 108 startups gaining the unicorn status of a private company valued at over $1 billion. This announcement illustrates the UK’s clear commitment to boosting partnerships in India and across South Asia.

On Thursday the Foreign Secretary will attend the G20 Foreign Ministers meeting to work with partners to advance global efforts on food and energy security, climate change and development. He will also continue to call Russia out at the G20 and work with partners to mitigate the global impacts of Russian aggression in Ukraine.

If the war were to end today, the effects of the exacerbated food insecurity would still run into 2027.

The Foreign Secretary will also address an India-Europe business event in the capital where he will reaffirm the UK’s commitment to conclude a Free Trade Agreement with India.

With more links than almost any country in the Indo-Pacific region, the UK-India trading relationship is already worth 34 billion pound, growing by 10 billion pound in one year.