London: British Premier David Cameron has described Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a “man with a clear vision” and praised him for breaking the deadlock over the trade facilitation agreement (TFA) at the WTO.
Replying to Indian-origin Labour MP Keith Vaz in the House of Commons on Monday on his recent first meeting with Modi in Brisbane, Cameron said, “We discussed the need for the EU-India free-trade agreement to get going again and for structural reform in India to help open up her economy and lead to higher growth rates.
“…I am clear that Prime Minister Modi is a man with a clear vision for doing economically for his country what he succeeded in doing for Gujarat.”
Noting that he had a “very good meeting with Prime Minister Modi”, Cameron praised the Indian leader stating “Modi got the conference off to a good start by agreeing to lift India’s block to the Bali trade facilitation agreement, which is vital to helping drive global growth”.
The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) has been stalled since July, when India refused to endorse it unless its food stockpiles were exempted from possible punitive measures, prompting the US to accuse it of taking the WTO “to the brink of crisis”.
The new deal has raised expectations that the Bali package would be implemented soon.
While raising the issue, Vaz pointed out “The summit marked the first face-to-face meeting between the Prime Minister (David Cameron) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
On the question of bilateral trade, Cameron said Britain is the second-largest inward investor in India but more could be done on trade.