The successful visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UK in November 2015 gave fresh impetus to the bilateral relationship. Regular exchanges of visits at the Prime Ministerial and Ministerial level earlier have laid the foundation for fostering better ties between the two countri
Trade and investment are among the most important planks of bilateral relations between the UK and India. The UK supports India’s proposal for permanent membership of the UNSC and is also an important interlocutor for India in the EU, G8, G20 and global contexts. India and UK have agreed on a new Defence and International Security Partnership to intensify cooperation on defence and security, including cyber security, counter-terrorism and maritime security. They also endorsed a Joint Statement on Energy and Climate Change. They issued a Statement of Intent to scale up bilateral cooperation to a global partnership for development cooperation in third countries. Initiatives between the two countries focus on technology cooperation in trade, investment and finance.
An India-UK Tech Alliance between NASSCOM and Tech UK to establish a UK-India Tech hub, develop UK-India Tech Cluster partnerships, an Advanced Manufacturing Centre in India and collaborate in Artificial Intelligence and Digital Healthcare in India’s Aspirational Health Districts Programme are some of the work in progress, and a few have been achieved. Other initiatives include new India-UK Dialogues on Investment and FinTech, a multilateral India-UK Trade Dialogue and a sector-based roadmap to address barriers to trade. Both countries have signed a slew of MOUs/agreements during various visits of the Prime Ministers of both countries to the UK and India. Some of the recent ones include areas such as a cyber-relationship framework, on rejuvenation of river Ganga, Skill Development, vocational education, safe nuclear energy use, cooperation in animal husbandry, fisheries and dairying, sharing of criminal records, research in humanities and social sciences under the Newton-Bhabha programme and setting up of a centre of excellence in Ayurveda and traditional Indian medicine. India-UK Buyer-Seller Meet on food products was organised by the Trade Promotion Council of India and supported by the High Commission in London on Sept 5, 2022). The event witnessed 25 Indian exporters participating, which saw active participation from UK buyers.
Recently the two countries have entered into an arrangement for the Global Innovation Partnership. It is a very important initiative. This will further strengthen development partnerships with other countries. Under this, India and the UK will co-finance up to $100 million to transfer and scale up “Made in India” innovations to third countries. These will also help in achieving sustainable development goals and in efforts to tackle climate change. This will be very useful for startups and the MSME sector in exploring new markets and globalising their innovations. Last year, India- UK established the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries. Recently, both countries have launched an ambitious ‘Roadmap 2030’ to work jointly on various sectors and issues of common concern.