Britain will appoint ‘Tech Envoy’ to Indo-Pacific, with focus on India: U.K. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly is also holding bilateral discussions with his counterpart EAM S. Jaishankar, prior to Thursday’s G20 meeting

March 01, 2023 12:16 pm | Updated 04:54 pm IST

U. K. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly. File

U. K. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly. File | Photo Credit: PTI

U.K. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly announced on March 1 that Britain will appoint a ‘Tech Envoy’ to the Indo-Pacific, with a focus on India, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said.

“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 basing our first Tech Envoy to the Indo-Pacific region, to maximise the tech expertise of both countries,” Mr. Cleverly, who is in New Delhi for the G20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting said, in a statement. This is the second such appointment for the U.K.; a British tech envoy to the U.S. was appointed in 2020 and is based in San Francisco.

The British Foreign Secretary also held bilateral discussions with his counterpart, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar. On the agenda for Wednesday’s India-UK bilateral meeting was the 2030 Roadmap for a deepening of bilateral ties between the two countries. India and the U.K. are working on a ‘ free trade’ deal with seven rounds of talks done, and an eighth round planned for end March, according to the government. They have also announced  a scheme for young professionals, which will give 3,000 Indians and 3,000 Britons a pathway to live and work in each other’s countries for up to two years.

Mr. Cleverly also raised the issue of income tax raids on BBC offices in India.

Also Read | Aware of BBC raid, cannot offer any judgement: U.S. | Brazen intimidation: On the tax survey on the BBC

At the G20, Mr. Cleverly is expected to push global efforts on food and energy security, climate change and development, the FCDO said. He is also expected to “continue to call Russia out at the G20 and work with partners to mitigate the global impacts of Russian aggression in Ukraine,” the FCDO said, adding that even if the war were to end now, the effects on food insecurity would persist until 2027.

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