LONDON: The UK does not have a monopoly on the opportunity, there is enormous opportunity in India, Chancellor of the Checker Rishi Sunak said on Friday, adding that India is “looking to the future” and Britain shouldn’t take for granted that India will always necessarily look to the UK.
“We have to earn that place, and that’s why we have to reimagine our relationship,” said Sunak, Narayana-Murthy’s son-in-law. “This must be a partnership of equals. We focus a lot on how to make it easier for people in India to come to the UK,” he said.
“If this living bridge is going to be a real thing, we need to make it easier for people in the UK to go to study at India’s world-class institutions and work in India’s amazing start-ups. We are reforming our visas — I want to figure out how to make it easier for people to travel in both directions,” he told reporters ahead of the India Global Forum’s UK-India awards.
“I think the external perception of India for many people here in the UK has not caught up with the reality,” Sunak said.
“India has the third-highest number of tech unicorns and second-highest smartphone penetration. The future UK-India relationship is one based on innovation, technology, and science. India has moved a long way from just being a place where lower costs of labor were the main value added. India is now creating globally best-in-class companies.”
Financial services and insurance are areas where there will be an enormous opportunity for both countries, he added.
He said India is a country that is “looking to the future” and Britain shouldn’t take for granted that India will always necessarily look to the UK.
In his speech at the awards on Friday, Sunak spoke for the first time about his East African Indian roots, how his children paint rangolis on their Downing Street doorsteps on Diwali, his daughter Anoushka’s Kuchipudi dancing, and how they will all be at the mandir in Southampton this Sunday for their family prayer day when they will cook and serve lunch. “My story is only possible as others came before me, broke down barriers and paved the way. It says an enormous amount about Britain’s openness that I am sitting here in the Treasury said.
Sunak said he missed going to India earlier this year with his family to see his in-laws, but he will be in India later in the year