UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, of Indian heritage, is visiting Delhi to attend the G20 summit, becoming the first prime minister of Indian heritage to visit India. Downing Street describes the visit as a “historic” reminder of the strong ties between the two countries. Sunak is accompanied by his wife, Akshata Murty, who is Indian-born and the daughter of one of India’s wealthiest individuals.
The G20 summit brings together leaders from the world’s 19 largest economies, along with the European Union. While the G20 has a broad agenda, it serves as a platform for one-on-one meetings between leaders.
Speaking on his way to the summit, Sunak expressed his excitement about returning to India, a country he holds dear. He also humorously referred to being called “India’s son-in-law,” a term used affectionately.
During the summit, Sunak will meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where discussions about a UK-India free trade agreement are likely to take place. There is growing optimism that a deal can be reached soon, with India’s Finance Minister expressing hope that it could be completed by year-end. The key issue in the negotiations has been India’s desire for more flexible visas, but Downing Street has emphasized that immigration and business mobility are separate issues covered by the trade agreement.
Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy criticized the government, claiming that they had promised the trade deal would be completed by the previous October and suggesting that Sunak is a “minnow on the global stage.” However, the visit carries significant historical and symbolic weight, with a British prime minister of Indian heritage visiting a former British colony as India hosts the G20.