The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will see both countries cooperate and exchange information relating to the telecoms and ICT sectors, including collaborating on research projects
Today, the UK government has announced that it was deepening ties with India through the signing of a new MoU focussed on the telecoms and ICT sectors.
Making strong reference to the economic impact that these sectors have relating to trade, the MoU’s scope encompasses everything from facilitating the trade of technological goods between the two countries to collaboration on technical standardisation efforts, spectrum management, and security.
Perhaps most notably, the partnership will includes the sharing of information on research and development of emerging technologies, including exploring investment opportunities in these areas.
According to Article 3 of the agreement, cooperation between the UK and India will take the form of:
• (a) Facilitation of joint research and studies;
• (b) Exchange of information, for example in areas of security, innovation, emerging and new technologies through conference, visits, seminars and webinars etc.
• (c) Establishment of Centres of Excellence and Security Test Labs;
• (d) Capacity building;
• (e) Exploring new activities of cooperation and any other forms of cooperation agreed upon by the Parties, in the field of Telecommunications/ ICTs, including interalia: IoT/M2M, 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, and Cloud Computing.
The UK and India will also form a joint working group to identify activities for cooperation and to measure and reported on project progress.
The timing of this announcement coincides with wider government efforts to secure stronger economic ties with India. Trade and investment deals with India announced today by the UK government are reportedly worth £1 billion and are set to create over 11,000 UK jobs.
However, it seems that these deals come at a political cost, with reports suggesting that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is preparing to offer greater visa flexibility for Indians coming to the UK to work – a significant concession to the Indian government aimed at helping to secure the long-desired trade deal.