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CHOGM meet: Red carpet awaits PM Narendra Modi in London

A security blanket is also ready for Modi’s events as many UK-based Kashmiri and Sikh groups have announced protests during the visit

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CHOGM meet: Red carpet awaits PM Narendra Modi in London
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be paying tribute to 12th century Lingayat philosopher Basaveshwara at his statue on the banks of river Thames
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United Kingdom is rolling a red carpet welcome for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is arriving in London on Tuesday to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Governments meeting (CHOGM). Modi will begin his foreign tour from Sweden on Monday, where besides holding bilateral meetings with his Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven, he will co-host the India-Nordic Summit in Stockholm.

In London, his British hosts have arranged a chauffeur-driven limousine for his travel and a bilateral meeting with his UK counterpart Theresa May. All other 51 heads of governments are travelling to the venue in a luxury coach and so far none has been granted bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the summit. Modi is going to be the first Indian PM to attend CHOGM since 2009.

He will also address an event from the historic Central Hall Westminster named Bharat Ki Baat, Sabke Saath. "It will be a no-holds-barred interaction with Prime Minister Modi, in a manner and format never witnessed before," said Vijay Chauthaiwale, in charge of the BJP Foreign Affairs Department. Central Hall Westminster, previously known as the Methodist Central Hall, is one of the largest multi-purpose venues in the heart of London and the site of the first-ever United Nations General Assembly in 1946. Anti-apartheid leader Martin Luther King Jr, the Dalai Lama and Princess Diana are some of the other high-profile speakers at the hall.

Nearly 100 young volunteers from across the UK are reportedly giving the final touches to, scheduled for early evening on April 18, as they finalise the list of just under 2,000 attendees chosen by ballot from online registrations over the last few weeks. Modi will attend the executive session of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London on April 19 and the CHOGM leaders' retreat in Windsor Castle on April 20 before heading back to India.

A security blanket is also ready for Modi's events as many groups mostly UK-based Kashmiri and Sikh groups have announced protests during the visit. The BJP overseas cell is also working overtime to arrange people to show support for the PM.

UK is among India's major trading partners. The merchandise trade between the two countries in 2017 reached $13 billion, and trade in services is around US$7.2 billion. UK is the 4th largest inward investor in India with a cumulative equity investment of US $25.31 billion, accounting for around 7% of all foreign direct investment into India. India continued to be the third largest investor in the UK and emerged as the second largest international job creator with Indian companies having created over 1,10,000 jobs in the UK.

In Sweden, Modi's important engagement is to participate in the India-Nordic Summit, which will see participation of the prime ministers of all the Nordic countries- Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. India's trade with the Nordic countries totalled around USD 5.3 billion in 2016-17, with Cumulative Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to India at USD 2.5 billion. The Nordic countries have globally recognized strengths in clean technologies, environmental solutions, port modernization, food processing, health, agriculture infrastructure, skill development and innovation which are also the focus areas of India's development. These complementarities and the unique strengths of India and the Nordic countries hold the potential to further boost trade and investment from both sides. On the sidelines of the India-Nordic Summit, Prime Minister will have separate bilateral meetings with Prime Ministers of Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway.

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  • A security blanket is also ready for Modi’s events as many UK-based Kashmiri and Sikh groups have announced protests during the visit.
     
  • The overseas cell of the Bharatiya Janata Party is also working overtime to arrange people to show support for PM Modi.
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