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UK-India Defence Ties at ‘Hinge Moment’, Need More ‘Two-Way’ Cooperation: Indian Envoy at DSEI Curtain Raiser

LONDON, Sept 11: Speaking at the Curtain Raiser event for DSEI 2023 on Sunday, India’s High Commissioner to the UK, Vikram Doraiswami called for strengthening the India-UK defence relationship into a more “two-way” partnership.

Video: Indian High Commissioner to the UK Vikram Doraiswami addressing the gathering

In his address at the seminar organised by UK Defence and Security Exports, Doraiswami stated that while political and economic ties between India and Britain are flourishing, “the defence and security relationship has not so far lived up to the strength of the rest of the relationship.”

The envoy highlighted three main factors needing more focus – building a two-way relationship not defined by “third parties”, cooperation on technology in view of global production chain vulnerabilities exposed by COVID, and enhancing trust including in defence trade.

Doraiswami emphasised leveraging the current “hinge moment” in India-UK strategic alignments. He also pointed to opportunities in research, science, and technology with both nations investing in defence technologies.

The High Commissioner urged identifying “low hanging fruit” and early successes in defence partnerships between businesses. He recommended strengthening India-UK cooperation in critical and emerging technologies similar to the India-US ICEP program.

Doraiswami also called for Indian and British companies to bid jointly for defence contracts in both countries. He stated that India is ready to be “very forward-leaning” in facilitating quick British business successes.

The envoy concluded that the India-UK defence relationship is at a pivotal moment and expressed confidence in partnerships being advanced through events like DSEI.

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