Whether pandemics, Putin’s illegal war, or economic resilience, so many of the challenges we face today are global.
That is not just to say that countries across the world face the same problems but also that we can only truly resolve these issues with global cooperation.
So it remains incredibly helpful to meet face-to-face with leaders worldwide to discuss these challenges, and indeed this is something Britain has a long history of doing well.
Over the weekend, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak travelled to the G20 in India, where he held meetings with several world leaders, including India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He also announced a record climate aid commitment from the UK of $2 billion that will help with one of the biggest global challenges at the moment– climate change, which I know is a top priority for many constituents in South West Surrey.
And at the start of this week I also went to New Delhi to speak to my counterparts about how we can ensure both of our economies grow further.
India is one of our core allies– it is one of the world’s biggest economies, home to almost a fifth of the global population, and it is a tech superpower.
As I have written in this column before, we have the world’s third largest tech sector in the UK, with more tech unicorns than France and Germany put together.
But India, too, has a cutting-edge tech industry, which had £188 billion in revenue in the fiscal year 2022, so in New Delhi I enjoyed meeting students and start-ups at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, many of whom I am sure will be tech leaders in the future.
Britain is Europe’s Silicon Valley and I see India as Asia’s Silicon Valley, and with greater collaboration I strongly believe that both countries can help each other to grow our economies further.
So I was very proud that on Monday India announced for the first time that it will look at the London Stock Exchange as an international destination for the listing of Indian companies.
In addition, India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and I announced a new pensions and insurance partnership and established knowledge and expertise sharing.
This comes on top of the strong ongoing talks between our two countries towards a comprehensive free trade agreement and bilateral investment treaty.
I do believe there is momentum behind our collaboration and I sincerely hope that continues, as there are lots of opportunities for what we can be achieving together.